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SPAIN IN 1830. 

By the same Authoj-, 
In 2 vols., Post 8vo., Price 16s. 


—with TALES and LEGENDS. 

The descriptions are diversified and graphic, — the tales introduced, in- 
teresting and clever, — and the author's narrative style, sprightly and un- 
affected. — New Monthly Magazine. 

It is all pleasing, and always interesting, — the author has at once the 
eye of a keen observer, and the pen of a ready writer. — Atheiueum. 

SPAIN IN 1830. 




VOL. I. 



Lon<ioii.lioiisc-\ ;ii(l, St. Paul's. 



^- /^/7 

V. I 



My dear Lord, 

Since I parted from your Lordship, eight 
years ago, on the bridge of Namur, changes 
have happened both to you and to myself. 
You have become a Lord, — I have become 
an author. When a man acquires a handle 
to his name, all the world knows it; but 
when a man begins to handle his pen, it is a 
chance whether any one knows it but himself. 
It is very likely, therefore, that your Lordship 
may be as ignorant upon this point, as 1 fear 


the rest of the world are ; but it will doubt- 
less surprise your Lordship to be told, that 
upon you I lay all my sins of authorship. 

It was in those daily and delightful strolls 
on the banks of the Meuse, that you inspired 
me with the desire of hunting the wild boar 
in the forest of Ardennes ; and when I went 
to bury myself there, — at the time that your 
Lordship sought the busier scenes of Paris, — 
I carried with me that little green writing- 
desk and its golden key, the gift of the la- 
mented Mrs. Erskine. Figure to yourself, 
my Lord, my isolated dwelling, with six feet 
of snow around my doors,— no companion 
but my great shaggy dog, and my blazing 
faggots, and the little green writing-desk 
upon a table by my side, — and your Lord- 
ship will admit, that I could not do other- 
wise than use the golden key and blot my 

The dedication of my first book was there- 
fore most certainly due to your Lordship; 
but besides its own unworthiness, another 


reason, applicable to all that I have subse- 
quently written, hindered me from laying at 
your feet this tribute of affection and respect. 
I was then younger than I am now, and 
probably more foolish ; and asking the notice 
of the Public under a fictitious name, your 
Lordship would have said, " who is this 
Derwent Conway, who impertinently ad- 
dresses me. My dear Lord, and subscribes 
himself my Cousin?" But Spain is a coun- 
try so associated with romance, that a ficti- 
tious name to a book of travels in that coun- 
try, might almost warrant the conclusion, 
that the book was altogether a fiction : and 
so now throwing off this veil which was un- 
meaningly assumed, I take this earliest op- 
portunity of making your Lordship's ac- 
quaintance in the character of an author. 

Sweet shades of Ammondell ! I remember 
them well, — that Gothic bridge, that planta- 
tion that skirts the river ; where, when a 
boy, " just let loose from school," 1 used 
to be met and welcomed by that fine, grey- 


headed man, your Lordship's sire, — the ele- 
gant, the learned, the witty, the eloquent, 
the consistent politician, the upright man, 
the unrequited ; — Ay ! the unrequited ; hea- 
ven rest His soul ! who remembered not his 
friends in the day of His prosperity. 

It is difficult to tear oneself from the 
"deep solitudes" and quiet glades of Am- 
mondell ; and I know that your Lordship 
enjoys there the elegancies of life — the 
delights of rural retirement — and the sweets 
of literary leisure ; but your honourable 
father had battled with the world, and in 
the cause of independence and freedom, 
before he retired to the tranquil shades of 
the Amnion, and said — 

Give me a nook in some secluded spot 
That business shuns, and din approaches not ; 
Some quiet retreat, where I may never know 
Which monarch reigns, — what ministers bestow. 

Your Lordship inherits the genius, with 
the titles of your family ; and it were a 


J^v' noble spectacle to see the Aristocracy of 
C^ the land stand forth, the champion of 

Political Liberty, and lending the weight 
of its influence to the claims of those who 
have only right and reason on their side. 
Forgive, my dear Lord, this boldness ; which 
must only be attributed to the respect and 
great regard with which I have the honor 
to subscribe myself. 

Your Lordship's aftectionate Cousin, 


Barcellona^ Jan. 2nd, 1831. 





Departure from Bayonne, the Bidassoa, and entrance into 
Spain ; Precautions against Robbery ; Black Mail, and 
Anecdote ; Charming and novel Scenery ; Mail Ti'avelling 
in Spain : Vittoria ; Spanish Bread ; Priests ; the Spanish 
Cloak; Women; Arrival of the Infante Don Francis; a 
National Trait ; Spanish Money and Expense of Travel- 
ling ; Journey through Biscay to Bilbao ; Chocolate ; the 
Plain of Vittoria; Passage of the Biscayan Mountains; 
Durango; a Village Misfortune; Biscayan Recreation; 
the Muleteer's Song; Bilbao; Traits of Spanish Charac- 
ter ; Markets ; Biscayan Political and Religious Opinions ; 
State of the Inhabitants, and Mode of Life; Riches of the 
Corporation of Bilbao ; Prices of Provisions ; the Campo 
Santo ; the Iglesia de Bigonia and its Superstitions ; Trait 
of Spanish Pride and Generosity ; the Convents and their 
Inmates ; the Hospital ; cmious Customs, and extraor- 
dinary scene in a Coffee House ; Improvement of Land 
in Biscay, Climate, Disease, &c. ; peculiar Rights and 
Privileges of Biscay ... i 





Waggon Travelling ; Scenery ; Bills of Fare, and Expenses ; 
Second Visit to Vittoria; Departure for Madrid; the Ebro; 
Privileges of the Military ; Old Castile ; Husbandry ; 
Burgos ; Beggars ; Posadas ; Traits of Misery in a Cas- 
tilian Village ; New Castile ; Quixotic Adventure ; the 
Somo-Sierra, and Approach to the Capital; Sketches of 
the Environs, and Arrival in Madrid ; Information for 
Travellers. - - - - - - 44 



Streets and Street Population ; Female Dress : the Mantilla ; 
the Fan; Aspect of the Streets of Madrid at different 
hours ; the Siesta ; Shops ; Good and Bad Smells ; State 
of the Lower Orders ; Analysis of the Population ; Street 
Sketches; Sunday in Madrid; the Calle de Alcala; Con- 
vents ; the Street of the Inquisition ; Private Apartments 
in Madrid; the Pi-ado and its Attractions; Ludicrous 
Incongruities ; Spanish Women, and their Claims ; the 
Fan and its Uses ; Portraits ; Inconvenient Exaction of 
Loyalty ; the Philosophy of Good Walking ; the Retiro ; 
CastiHan Skies ; the Cafe Catalina and its Visitors ; other 
Coffee Rooms, and Political Reflections ; the Botanical 
Garden, strange Regulation on entering ; the Theatres ; 
Spanish Play Bills ; Teatro del Principe ; the Cazuela and 
Intrigue ; Spanish Comedy ; the Bolero ; the Italian Com- 
pany ; Cultivation of Music in Madrid ; the Guitar ; 
Vocal Music ; Spanish Music - - - - 65 





The King, Queen, and Royal Family ; Personal Appearance 
of Fei'dinand; a Royal Jeu d'esprit ; the King's Confidence 
in the People, and Examples ; Character of the King ; a 
Carlist's Opinion of the King ; Favourites, — Calomarde, 
— Alegon, — Salsedo, — the Duque d'Higar; Rising In- 
fluence of the Queen ; Habits of the Royal Family ; Court 
Diversions ; Rivalry of Don Carlos ; the Queen's Ac- 
couchement, and Views of Parties ; Detection of a Carlist 
Plot ; the Salic Law ; Court Society ; Persons of Distinc- 
tion, and Ministerial Tertulias; Habits and Manner of 
Life of the Middle Classes ; a Spanish House, and its 
Singular Defences ; Abstemiousness of the Spaniards ; 
Evening and Morning Visits ; Balls and Spanish Dancing; 
Character of Spanish Hospitality ; Spanish Generosity and 
its Origin ; Examples of Ostentation ; Morals ; Gallantry 
and Intrigue; the Morals of the Lower Orders ; Religious 
Opinions in the Capital, and Decline of the Priestly In- 
fluence ; Jesuitical Education ; the Influence of the Friars ; 
Causes of the Decline of Priestly Influence, and the Con- 
tinuance of that of the Friars ; Convent Secrets ; Curious 
Expos^ at Cadiz ; Devotion in Madrid - - 112 



The Profession of a Nun ; Reflections ; Description of the 
Interior of a Convent; the Monastic Life; Description of 
a Bull-Fight ; Sketches of Spanish Character ; a Horse 
Race - ' - - - - - 168 




Memoir of Murillo - - - - - -203 



The Picture Gallery; the Works of Murillo; the Annuncia- 
tion ; the Virgin Instructed by her Mother ; Landscapes ; 
Velasquez and his Works ; Meeting of Bacchanalians ; the 
Forges of Vulcan ; Espanoletto and his Works ; Villan- 
cencio; Juanes; AlonzoCano; Cerezo; Morales; Juanes' 
Last Supper ; the Modern Spanish School ; Aparicio ; 
the Famine in Madrid; Italian Gallery; Flemish School; 
the Sala Reservada ; Statuary ; Cabinet of Natural His- 
tory; Sala Reservada ; the Patrician's Dream; the Dese7i- 
gano de la Vida ; Private Collections ; the Duke of Liria's 
Gallery ; Churches and Convents ; Church of San Isodro ; 
San Salvador ; Santa Maria ; San Gines ; Santiago ; San 
Antonio de Florida ; Convent of Las Salesas ; de la En- 
carnation ; the Franciscans ; Santa Isabella ; Hidden Pic- 
tures ; San Pasqual ; Santa Teresa ; the Palace. - 233 


Literature ; Difficulties to be encountered by Authors ; the 
Book Fair ; Digression respecting the Claims of Spain to 
Gil Bias; Public and Private Literary Societies; Libraries; 
Obstacles to Improvement, from the State of Society ; Fe- 
male Education ; Education for the Liberal Professions ; 
Course of Study for the Bar; Course of Medical Studies; 
Charitable Institutions ; Consumption of Madrid ; Prices of 
Provisions. -.--._ 265 




State of Parties, and Political Pi'ospects. - . . 293 



Journey from Madrid ; First View of the Escurial ; Pliilip II. ; 
Situation of the Escurial ; the Church ; Lucas Jordan ; the 
Relics ; the Santa Forma ; the Sacristy and its Pictures ; 
a Reverie ; the Hall of Recreation ; the Library ; the 
Tomb of the Kings ; the Manuscript Library ; Ignorance 
and Idleness of the Monks, and Anecdotes ; Manner of 
Life among the Monks ; the Palace ; Particulars of the 
Extent and Cost of the Escurial; Pedestrian Journey 
across the Sierra Guaderrama to Ildefonso ; the Palace, 
Waters, and Garden of La Granja ; Road to Segovia ; its 
Remains, and Present Condition ; Expensiveness of Royal 
Honours ; Return to Madrid - - _ . 328 


Journey from Madrid; Proofs of the backwardness of Spain; 
Appearance of the Covmtry ; Spanish Mule-driving ; a 
Venta ; First View of Toledo ; Toledo Recreations and 
Society ; Remains of Former Grandeur, and Proofs of 
Present Decay ; Picturesque Views ; the Tagus ; Intricacy 
of Toledo; Bigotry and Priestcraft; Reasons for the Pre- 
valence of Religious Bigotry in Toledo ; Proofs of Bigo- 
try ; Aspect of the Population ; the Cathedral and its 
Riches ; Scene in the Cathedral ; the Alcazar ; Historical 
Retrospect ; Praiseworthy Institutions of the Archbishop 
Lorenzana; the University; Toledo Sword Manufactory; 
the Franciscan Convent ; Return to Madrid - - 305 

SPAIN IN 1830. 



Departiive from Bayonne, the Bidassoa, and entrance into Spain ; 
Precautions against Robbery ; Black Mail, and Anecdote ; 
Charming and novel Scenery ; Mail travelling in Spain ; Vitto- 
ria; Spanish Bread; Priests; the Spanish Cloak; Women; Ar- 
rival of the Infante Don Francis; a National trait; Spanish 
Money and expense of Travelling ; Journey through Biscay to 
Bilbao ; Chocolate ; the Plain of Vittoria ; Passage of the Bis- 
cayan Mountains; Diu-ango; a Village Misfortune; Biscayan 
Recreation; the Muleteer's Song; Bilbao; Traits of Spanish 
Character ; Markets ; Biscayan Political and Religious Opinions ; 
State of the Inhabitants and mode of Life; Riches of the 
Coi-poration of Bilbao ; Prices of Provisions ; the Campo 
Santo; the Iglesia de Bigonia and its Superstitions; Trait of 
Spanish Pride and Generosity; the Convents and their Inmates ; 
the Hospital ; curious Customs, and extraordinary scene in a 
Coffee House; Improvement of .Land in Biscay, Climate, Dis- 
eases, &c. ; peculiar Rights and Privileges of Biscay. 

I left England in the early part of the spring of 
1830, with the intention of visiting Spain ; and 
taking a circuitous route through the Southern 
parts of France, to Bayonne, I left that city on 
the 14th of May, by the Madrid Courier, for 
Vittoria, and in a few hours we crossed the 
Bidassoa and entered Spain, 
vol.. I. B 

2 SPAIN IN 1830. 

It is impossible to enter any foreign country 
for the first time, without experiencing some 
mental excitement ; and it seems to me, that 
among all the countries of Europe, Spain is the 
most calculated to awaken interest and expecta- 
tion : for even if it were possible to forget all that 
links the history of Spain with Carthagenian 
enterprise, and Roman ambition, and Moorish 
grandeur, the present condition of the country, 
and the desire of gratifying curiosity, respecting 
the manners, character, and condition of the 
Spanish people, would still be sufficient to 
justify a strong feeling of excitement. 

When I had crossed the Bidassoa, I knew 
that I was in Spain ; and every object imme- 
diately acquired a new interest. Three several 
demands for my passport, within the short space 
of ten minutes, had not the effect of putting me 
out of humour ; I was prepared for inconveni- 
ences greater than this, in journeying through a 
country so little visited as Spain, and had wisely 
laid in a stock of philosophy to meet them all. 

The frontier town of Spain, Irun, lies within 
half a league of the Bidassoa : it is an insigni- 
ficant village, no way calculated to create a 
favourable impression ; but it is improper to 
form any judgment of a country, from the places 
that lie along its frontier. At Irun, the mail 

SPAIN IN 1831). O 

stops a short time ; and before proceeding on 
its journey, formidable precautions are taken 
against the possibility of robbery. I saw three 
carabines, and four cases of pistols, deposited 
about the coach ; and three additional guards, 
each armed with a long sabre, took their seats 
behind and in the cabriolet. These preparations 
naturally create doubts in the mind of the tra- 
veller, as to his personal safety : nor are these 
altogether without foundation : there is undoubt- 
edly some exaggeration on the subject of robbery 
of the public conveyances in Spain ; but it is 
certain, that the mails are occasionally stopped, 
especially in the southern parts. It is beneath 
the dignity of the government, to enter into a 
treaty with banditti, for the safety of the mails ; 
and as resistance must be made in case of an 
attack, the traveller by the mail is necessarily 
placed in a dangerous position ; but in the dili- 
gence, he runs comparatively little risque. I 
can state, upon certain information received in 
Madrid, that every one of the principal Spanish 
diligences, with the exception of that from Bar- 
cellona to Perpignan, pays Black Mail to the 
banditti for their protection. This arrangement 
was at first attended with some difficulty ; and 
from a gentleman who was present at the 
interview between the person employed to 

B 2 


negotiate on behalf of the diligences, and the 
representative of the banditti, 1 learned a few 
particulars. The diligences in question were 
those between Madrid and Seville ; and the sum 
offered for their protection was not objected to ; 
but another difficulty was started : "I have 
nothing to say against the terms you offer," said 
the negotiator for the banditti, " and I will at 
once ensure you against being molested by 
robbers of consequence ; but as for the small 
fry (Lctdrones de ninguna considtracion), I cannot 
be responsible ; tve respect the engagements 
entered into by each other ; but there is no- 
thing like honour among the petty thieves." 
The proprietors of the diligences, however, were 
satisfied with the assurance of protection against 
the great lobbers, and the treaty was concluded ; 
but not Ion J afterwards, one of the coaches was 
stopped and rifled by the petty thieves : this 
led to an arrangement which has ever since 
proved effectual ; one of the chiefs accompanies 
the coach on its journey, and overawes by his 
name anJ reputation, the robbers of inferior 

Nothing can exceed the beauty of the country 
between the frontier, and Tolosa ; the road lies 
through the most enchanting valleys, green and 
fertile, beyond any that I had seen in the French 


Pyrenees ; and there is one feature in the 
scenery, peculiar to this part of the Biscayan 
provinces : the sides of the mountains are not 
covered with forest trees, as in the Pyrenees, nor 
with fir, as in the Alps, but with fruit trees : the 
effect of this was striking, and beautiful ; chiefly 
owing to the variety of colour in the different 
fruits with which every tree was bowed to the 
ground. As far as the eye could reach up the 
mountain side, it rested upon a variegated carpet 
of the many rich and nameless tints that lie 
upon the finest and mellowest fruits. The abun- 
dance of fruit was sufficiently shewn in the little 
value that seemed to be attached to it ; in place 
of flowers being thrown into the coach by chil- 
dren, as is customary in many parts of France, 
the early fruits of the season were tossed in at 
the windows ; and the smallest coin was gladly 
received as a sufficient compensation 

It will probably create some surprise when I 
say, that in no part of Europe is it possible to 
travel with so much comfort, or with so great 
rapidity, as by the Spanish Courier. The coach 
is more commodious and roomy than an Eng- 
lish private carriage ; it is well cushioned and 
seated ; the windows are furnished with Vene- 
tian blinds, by which the air may be admitted 
and the sun excluded ; and with silk curtains. 

6 SPAIN IN 183D. 

by which the sun may be excluded even when 
the glass windows are closed ; and two passen- 
gers only are admitted inside : another is ad- 
mitted into the cabriolet along with the guards. 
The coach is drawn by four mules, which are 
kept at a gallop the whole way, up hill and down 
hill ; and the road from Bayonne to Madrid, 
is generally as smooth as the very best roads 
in England. I ascertained that the rate of tra- 
vellinof exceeded twelve miles an hour. No 
time is lost in useless stoppages ; the mules are 
changed with as great expedition as in England ; 
the traveller must be contented with few meals ; 
and against the assaults of thirst, the guards are 
provided with a well filled wine-skin, to which 
they never apply, without first offering it to the 
passengers, who are expected to accept the 

AtTolosa, an inconsiderable town, we stopped 
to sup : it was then nearly dark, so that I was 
unable to see much of it; and, indeed, no 
more time was allowed than sufficed for the 
meal. This was the first meal I had taken in 
Spain, and the first inn I had entered : of the 
latter, I was scarcely entitled to form an opi- 
nion from seeing only one room ; but the exag- 
gerated accounts I had heard of the badness 
and filthiness of the Spanish posadas, were 

SPAIN IN 183D. 7 

well calculated to put me in good humour with 
the inn at Tolosa. After the variety and excel- 
lence of the French adsirie, the supper table 
seemed a little meagre, but every thing was 
eatable ; the table was cleanly and neatly set 
out, and the servants were active and attentive. 
In most of the Spanish posadas in the north of 
Spain, where Malaga is prized, a glass of it is 
presented to the traveller after every meal. 

When morning dawned, I found myself still 
travelling through a mountainous country, but 
less fertile than that which lies nearer the 
frontier. In ascending the mountains that 
bound the plain in which Vittoria is situated, 
the usual rapidity of our travelling was inter- 
rupted ; here, the mules were changed for 
oxen, which are used throughout Spain, for 
every kind of laborious work : we are accus- 
tomed to associate with oxen, remarkable slow- 
ness of movement ; and presuming upon this, 
and upon the steepness of the ascent, I left the 
carriage, in the intention of walking to the 
summit; but contrary to my expectation, I found 
myself unable to keep pace with the oxen, and 
had great difficulty in regaining my place. 

In approaching Vittoria, the country became 
less interesting ; at the highest part of the 
ascent, the oxen were again changed for mules. 

8 SPAIN IN 183D. 

and we descended into the plain at a rapid 
pace, and soon after entered Vittoria, after pass- 
ing a number of prisoners, chained together, 
workiner on the roads ; and several Ions' trains 
of mules. 

I had been warned of the strictness of the 
custom-house at Vittoria, especially in the 
search for books ; but this, like much of the 
information I had received before entering Spain, 
proved an exaggeration. I never passed a cus- 
tom house with so slight a scrutiny; not one 
book was opened, and the whole examination 
did not occupy five minutes. 

I had been recommended to go to the " Pa- 
rador,'' which has the reputation of being the 
best hotel in Spain ; I found, however, that the 
whole house was engaged for the reception of 
the Infante Den Francis, and his suite, who 
were expected the same morning from Bilbao ; 
but accommodaticn was provided fcr me in the 
house adjoining, where I was immediately pre- 
sented with the usual Spanish refresco, a cup of 
chocolate, and the most excellent bread in Eu- 
rope. In this, I found that report had for once 
spoken the truth : I have no where tasted bread 
that will compare with that of Spain ; and this 
remark applies to the whole country, and not 
only to the cities and towns, but even to the 

SPAIN IN 183U 9 

villages : in the little village of St. Lorenzo, in 
the midst of the Sierra Guadarrama, I found 
bread equal to any that can be purchased in 
Madrid or Seville. 

Vittoria being the first Spanish town that I 
had seen by daylight, I quickly finished my 
refresco, that I might walk into the streets. 
The first thing that attracted my attention, as 
being characteristic of Spain, was, the great 
number of priests, and members of different 
religious orders ; and, at the same time, it was 
impossible to avoid remarking the difference in 
the appearance of the Spanish clergy, and the 
clergy of most of the other Catholic countries, 
especially of France. I saw no poor looking, 
half starved priests, in thread-bare garments, 
and looks of humility; all were well clothed, 
and seemingly well fed ; they were not ashamed 
to hold up their heads, and appeared, as the 
French say, a leur a'lse. 

The next thing that struck me as being re- 
markable, was the Spanish cloak. It was about 
noon, on a summer day, and the sun was out ; and 
yet, every second or third person was muffled 
up in his ample cloak ; these persons were, 
however, chiefly of the inferior ranks ; and I 
could not help suspecting, that the cloak covered 
many an infirmity, and perhaj)s with some, 

10 SPAIN IN 183U 

stood in stead of an under garment : even the 
school-boys had their cloaks thrown over their 
shoulders ; and there appeared something very 
ludicrous in the spectacle of boys at play, en- 
cumbered with these useless appendages. I 
remarked that brown was the universal colour of 
the cloak among the lower ranks ; blue, or 
black, among the upper classes. 

In the appearance of the women, I noticed 
nothing very remarkable. The Spanish national 
dress is scarcely seen so far north — the lower 
orders wore their hair plaited, and descending 
behind, to the waist ; and but few of the ladies 
were to be seen with the Spanish mantilla. I 
am not entitled to say a single word respecting 
the personal appearance of the Spanish women, 
from a cursory glance at the streets of Vittoria; 
upon this subject my expectations were highly 
excited, — but I reserve my judgment upon so in- 
teresting a matter, until I have seen the Capital. 

In returning to the hotel, that I might see 
the arrival of the Infant from my window, I 
stopped for a moment in the bread market, — the 
display was tempting and beautiful ; loaves of 
all shapes and dimensions, and as white as un- 
kneaded flour, were piled along the street,— but 
I was obliged to hasten towards my apartment 
by a flourish of trumpets, announcing the ap- 

SPAIN IN 183n 11 

proacli of the Infante, — and in a few minutes 
more his advanced guard entered the street. I 
can scarcely expect to be credited, when I say 
that the Infant, Don Francis, the brother of the 
King of Spain, arrived in a diligence, — yet such 
is the fact. He, his consort, and his family, 
occupied one diligence, and his suite occupied 
another, — the first drawn by seven mules, — 
the second, by six. The royal party was re- 
ceived with respect by a considerable concourse 
of people, and with the military honours usually 
paid to persons in so exalted a station. 

In the afternoon, I made a second tour of 
the town ; — I walked into three or four of the 
churches, but found no fair devotees before any 
of the altars ; only two or three poor old women 
were at their devotions. I was particularly amused 
with a spectacle that presented itself in the 
Plaza — a square, by the by, little inferior to the 
Place Vendome in Paris : between two and three 
hundred girls, from eight to thirteen or fourteen 
years of age, were assembled in the middle of 
the area, dancing with each other, to the music 
of a fife and a drum, played by a musician whom 
they had hired to contribute his aid to their 
favourite pastime : the dances were slow, and 
conducted with the utmost gravity ; every one 
seemed to consider herself engaged in an im- 

12 SPAIN IN 183n 

portant affair, and among the two or three hun- 
dred countenances, there was scarcely a smile 
to be seen. 

The neighbourhood of the hotel continued to 
be the point of attraction to the inhabitants of 
Vittoria all the evening ; an Infante is a rarity 
in the provincial towns of Spain, and the citizens 
testified their sense of the honour of a visit, by 
assembling in the street opposite to the hotel, 
and by hanging cloths and mattings of various 
colours from the windows : a mark of respect, 
which in Spain is always considered due to 
royal, or religious processions. Deputations of 
the principal inhabitants also arrived,— among 
others, one of Capuchin friars; and to my great 
annoyance, a band of indifferent music con- 
tinued to entertain the Infante till after mid- 

There was nothing to detain me long in 
Vittoria, and I hired a cabriolet and two mules, 
to carry me to Bilbao, the capital of Biscay ; the 
distance is eleven leagues of the country, or 
something more than fifty English miles, and 
for this I paid 200 reals ; and as I may probably 
have frequent occasion to mention the expense 
of travelling, and the value of different articles, 
the following few explanations will be found of 
use. Generally speaking, every thing in Spain 

SPAIN ,IN 1S3U. 13 

is calculated by reals, from the price of a ticket 
to the bull-light, up to the State expenditure. 
The value of a real is nearly 2}/L, — so that four 
reals are equal to a French franc, or 10^. English ; 
ail accounts in reals may therefore be easily 
understood by dividing by four. But in small 
values, the calculation is made in quartos, eight 
and a ha^f of which are equal to a real, or 2ld. 
In stating prices, I shall always make use of 
these two denominations of money, so that the 
reader may at once be able to substitute English 

From Eayonne, into Biscay, the nearest road 
is not by Vittoria, but along the sea shore by 
St. Sebastian; but the muleteers considering 
the coast road unsafe, from the chances of rob- 
bery, I was obliged to take the more circuitous 
line by Vittoria, which I left about five in the 
morning, after the usual refresco. Chocolate in 
Spain, is very different from chocolate in Eng- 
land : it is served in a very small cup, about the 
size of the old India china coffee cup ; it is 
about the consistence of thick cream, and is 
highly spiced with cinnamon : the traveller in 
Spain who dislikes chocolate, will often find 
himself exposed to great inconvenience. 

Leaving Vittoria, I entered upon the extensive 
plain in which it is situated, and proceeded 

14 SPAIN IN 183D. 

along a good road, and at a pleasant pace, 
towards the mountains. The plain of Vittoria 
is entirely a corn country, and, at this early 
season, harvest had already begun : the soil is 
naturally bad and scanty; but the proverbial 
industry of the Biscayans forces from it an un- 
willing crop. From Vittoria to the entrance of 
the mountains, is about three leagues ; I passed 
through two or three small villages, and at 
another, somewhat larger, just on the limits of 
the plain, we stopped to water the mules : it 
was Sunday morning ; there was a fine display 
of vegetables and fruit in the market-place, and 
several hundred villagers and peasants were 
assembled, waiting the summons to go to mass. 
I walked round the market-place, and observed 
with pleasure, not unmixed with surprise, that 
every individual was clean and well dressed. I 
was not accosted by a single beggar. 

Immediately upon leaving this village, I en- 
tered the mountains — a delightful change from 
a wide treeless plain. About a league from the 
entrance, at the end of a winding valley, and just 
before beginning a steep ascent, I noticed a 
house where guards were to be hired ; the 
muleteer asked me whether I chose to have any, 
but being at that time rather an unbeliever in 
the frequency of robbery, and liking the ex- 

SPAIN IN 1831X 15 

pression of the muleteer's countenance, I replied 
in the negative, and we passed on. 

The passage of the Biscayan mountains by 
this road, affords some very magnificent pro- 
spects ; the lower parts of the mountains are 
covered with oak and Spanish chestnut, and the 
summits rise to the height of at least 5000 feet, 
in the form of numerous fantastic pinnacles of 
a reddish colour ; the road is constructed upon 
the most scientific principle, reaching the sum- 
mit by a zigzag, and very easy ascent, and is as 
broad and as smooth as the best roads in any 
other country. The descent towards the north- 
west is much greater than the ascent from Vit- 
toria, proving the great elevation of the province 
of Alava above that of Biscay Proper ; the pro- 
vinces both of Alava, and of Gidpuscoa, are 
called Biscayan provinces, but Biscay Proper is 
confined to the country lying to the north of 
the mountains, and bounded by the sea. 

We stopped at Durango, the first town after 
descending the mountains, to dine, and rest the 
mules during the hottest part of the day. I 
was equally pleased and surprised witli the 
excellence of the posa da at Durango; the most 
scrupulous cleanliness was visible in every 
thing ; the dinner was unobjectionable ; and I 
remarked a refinement to which the best French 

■16 SPAIN IN 183D. 

inns are strangers — the knives and forks were 
changed with every plate. I learned from the 
Soiorita who waited at table, that a sad misfor- 
tune had that day befallen the village ; the 
bishop to whose diocese it belonged, had jour- 
neyed from Navarre to pay his respects to the 
Infante at Bilbao ; on his return he had stopped 
at Durango, as it was improper to travel on 
Sunday, and after condescending to preach a 
sermon in the village church, he had reproved 
the levity of the people, and forbade that there 
should be any dancing in the village that even- 
ing ; but the girl added, that she v/culd go to 
another village, half a league distant, to which 
the injunction did not extend : this trifling trait, 
added to another which I shall just now record, 
first led me to suspect, that the influence of the 
priesthood was on the decline, in Biscay at 
least. The landlord, having discovered that I 
was English, asked me how many priests we 
might have in England in a town such as Du- 
rango ? I replied, that we might have one or 
two; *' O Dm,'" said he, " we have here more 
than forty ! " 

After dinner, we continued our journey to- 
wards Bilbao. Leaving the town, I remarked on 
passing the church, that the market was held 
under the portico, and in the environs I noticed 

SPAIN IN 1830. 17 

a few specimens of Biscayan enjoyment ; 
groups of men were lying, and sitting under 
the trees, playing at cards ; and women were 
seen here and there, seated on the grass, sing- 
ing, and playing the tamborine. The road to 
Bilbao continued excellent, and lay through a 
fine fertile valley, bearing luxuriant crops of 
Indian corn, diversified by meadows, and wood, 
which also covered the sides of the neighbour- 
ing hills. I saw no carriage on the road but 
my own ; carts, and long trains of mules, occa- 
sionally passed, and the only travellers I saw, 
were two gentlemen mounted on mules, accom- 
panied by four guards on foot, each provided 
with a carabine. 

All the way from Vittoria, the muleteer who 
drove the carriage, sung a remarkably beautiful, 
but somewhat monotonous air. I was greatly 
pleased with the muleteer's song, and was 
anxious that I should not forget it ; but I after- 
wards found that I need not have been appre- 
hensive of this : every where throughout Castile 
I heard the same air, and in Madrid, nothing- 
else was sung by the lower orders. I was 
anxious to purchase it, and applied at one of 
the music-shops, but they told me they dared 
not sell it; it was forbidden by the government. 

VOL. I . c 

18 SPAIN IN 1830. 

The air was old Arragonese, but it was revived 
to new words, in a little comedy that somehow 
slipped through the censorship a few months 
before, and related how a certain friar knew 
too well the road into a certain convent. 

As the road approaches Bilbao, the moun- 
tains that inclose the valley increase in height, 
make a curve, and run directly into the Bay of 
Biscay; and Bilbao is situated in their bosom : 
it is this that gives to Bilbao its peculiar cha- 
racter. Mountains generally diminish in height 
as they approach the sea ; but here, this rule is 
reversed, and Bilbao possesses the singularity 
of being a sea-port, and of yet being all but 
surrounded by lofty mountains. Owing to this, 
nothing can be more striking and novel than 
the view of the city where it is first seen from 
the bridge that crosses the small river about a 
mile before entering it. I was obliged to leave 
the carriage at the entrance to the town, and 
walk to the posada; for it is the rule that no 
wheeled carriages of any kind are allowed to 
drive through the streets of Bilbao. This regu- 
lation has arisen from a praiseworthy desire to 
preserve the purity of the water, which is con- 
veyed in a stone tunnel under the streets ; all 
goods are therefore carried through the town 
either in panniers, on mules, or in sledges, 

SPAIN IN 1830. 19 

which are provided with a contrivance by 
which they constantly moisten their path with 

Walking through the streets, to the posada de 
St. Nicola, the only good inn in Bilbao, and 
one of the very best in the Peninsula, I was 
attracted by two curious exhibitions, one of 
them very forcibly reminding me that I was in 
Spain : two well-dressed peasants danced be- 
fore me the whole length of a long street while 
another walked behind, playing a sort of trum- 
pet; and in the open space before the principal 
fountain, some boys were amusing themselves 
with the representation of a bull-fight ; one boy 
was mounted on another's back, the undermost 
representing the horse of the picador, the other 
was armed with a long pole, while a third on 
foot, his head covered with a basket in which 
he had fixed two horns, imitated the motions 
and bellowing of the bull ; several others with 
handkerchiefs, represented the torredores, throw- 
ing them in the bull's face. The bull-fights at 
Bilbao had newly concluded ; the Infante had 
been treated with eight exhibitions, in which 
thirty-two bulls were killed. This is the high- 
est mark of respect that Spanish authorities can 
shew to a visitor, and the greater the number 

( 2 

20 SPAIN IN 1830. 

of bulls that are sacrificed, the greater of course 
is the compliment. 

I remained in Bilbao a fortnight, which I 
found amply sufficient to see all that merited 
attention, and to inform myself respecting some 
of the peculiarities of the province of Biscay. 
I have already spoken of the situation of Bilbao, 
as striking and beautiful, but the town itself is 
not remarkable for its beauty or cleanliness ; 
the smells are most offensive; and lying as it 
does in so deep a basin among the mountains, 
which even shut it out from the sea, I can 
scarcely think Bilbao a healthy city. But by 
the side of the river, there is a fine promenade 
all the way to the port, ^yhich lies about two 
miles from the city, and here the inhabitants 
may catch some of the sea breeze which gene- 
rally comes up with the tide ; a part of this 
promenade is allotted to the fruit and vegetable 
market, which I strolled through, the morning 
after my arrival ; there was a most abundant 
display of every sort of which the season ad- 
mitted, including an extraordinary quantity of 
tomata, — this is known in the south of .France 
by the name of pomme d'amour, and is an impor- 
tant ingredient in Spanish cookery. The bread 
market is held along with the fruit market, and 

SPAIN IN 1830. 21 

I found the bread of Bilbao quite equal to that 
of the other parts of Spain. 

When I looked from my window in the hotel, 
I found that I was well situated for observing 
the inhabitants of all classes : opposite, stood 
the church of St. Nicholas ; at one side was a 
public fountain, and on the other a brass basin — 
reminding me of Membrino's helmet — indicated 
a barber's shop. At all hours therefore I might 
see some going to mass, and others filling their 
pitchers at the fountain. The Biscayan de- 
serves the character of strength, that has been 
given to him; and the contrast between the Bis- 
cayan, and the Andalusian peasant, who inhabit 
the two extremes of Spain, is remarkable : the 
latter, dark, tall, upright, slim, with something 
of elegance in his appearance ; and the look of 
pride generally visible in his air and counte- 
nance, seeming to have some reference to his 
personal attractions : the Biscayan, broad, ath- 
letic, lounging, with something of peculiar 
roughness in his look and manner; and his 
expression of blunt independence, having no 
reference to himself individually, but arising 
from the knowledge that he is a Biscayan, and 
as such, the hereditary possessor of peculiar 
and exclusive rights. Such seemed to me the 
Biscayan peasant, whether he filled his pitcher 

22 SPAIN IN 1830. 

at the fountain, or entered St. Nicholas to 
mass. As for the women, I do not feel myself 
obliged to use the same reserve in speaking of 
them as of the women of Vittoria : because the 
inhabitants of Biscay being a distinct race, my 
opinion of them does not compromise the cha- 
racter and claims of Spanish women generally. 
I saw little beauty in Bilbao, and less elegance ; 
and in the manner of the women I remarked 
the same bluntness as that which characterizes 
the men. 

But along with Biscayan bluntness, there is 
much good heartedness and honesty, and a great 
deal of intelligence ; and even the pride of a 
Biscayan, has given rise to much of the industry 
and enterprise which in the province of Biscay 
are so conspicuous in the cultivation of the soil, 
in the construction of useful works, and in 
the establishment of praiseworthy institutions. 
Many of the inhabitants of Biscay in the upper 
classes have made voyages into other countries, 
and have returned with diminished prejudices, 
and increased liberality of sentiment ; and the 
consequence of this has been, that among the 
educated, and better classes of society, there is 
little narrowness in political sentiment, and little 
bigotry in religion. I heard several of the most 
respectable inhabitants of Bilbao express openly 

SPAIN IN IS30. 23 

much dissatisfaction at the political debasement 
of Spain, and breathe ardent wishes for the dif- 
fusion of intellectual and religious light; but 
they added, what my own knowledge has since 
fully confirmed, that I should not find in any 
other part of Spain, the same enlightened views 
as I had found in Biscay. Among the lower 
orders in Bilbao, and in Biscay generally, there 
is still much bigotry both in politics and reli- 
gion, but more especially in the latter ; during 
the existence of the constitution, the prejudices 
of the lower ranks made it necessary to affix in 
large letters over the doors of all the churches, 
and attested by the existing authorities, these 
important words, — " The Roman Catholic is 
the only true religion." 

In Biscay there are not many poor, nor 
many rich. Formerly, Bilbao contained many 
wealthy citizens ; but the export trade in wool 
was then flourishing. At that time the clear- 
ances were more than double their present num- 
ber; but ever since the preference of Saxon wool 
has begun to be shewn in the foreign markets, 
the trade of Bilbao has declined, and now, not 
more than between thirty and forty British ves- 
sels visit Bilbao in the course of a year. Some 
few houses in Bilbao have still considerable 
returns from the fish trade, and one or two, from 

24 SPAIN IN 1830. 

the iron export trade ; but this has also fallen 
off, since the demand for Swedish iron has in- 
creased. Biscayan iron would still command a 
preference in the foreign markets, from its supe- 
rior qualities for finer purposes, if it could enter 
them at the same price as Swedish iron ; but this 
is impossible, both on account of the expense 
of fuel for furnaces, and the want of inland 
navigation. Timber is not scarce in the pro- 
vince of Biscay ; but there is an old Biscayan 
law which tends to keep up its price, enacting 
that for every tree cut down, six must be planted 
in its stead ; this is often felt to be an inconveni- 
ence, and produces scarcity in the midst of plenty. 
I was informed that two or three houses in Bilbao 
realize from 2 to 3000/. a-year ; but I believe I 
may assert that no one spends 300/. It is diffi- 
cult to spend money in Bilbao : in no part of 
Spain, least of all in Biscay, is it the custom to 
live extravagantly or luxuriously. The table of 
a Biscayan is remarkable for its simplicity and 
sameness : of whatever rank he may be, he 
takes his cup of chocolate and bread, followed 
by a glass of sugar and water, about eight o'clock ; 
he dines about one, and six days out of seven, 
his dinner consists of broth, and dipudiero, which 
is boiled beef, with a small bit of pork, sur- 
rounded either by cabbage, or Spanish peas. 

SPAIN IN 1830. 25 

(garbanzos), and varied occasionally with a sau- 
sage ; a cup of chocolate again in the afternoon, 
and for supper, boiled lettuce prepared with 
vinegar, oil and pepper, finish the repasts of the 
day. The menage at home, therefore, costs but 
a trifling sum ; and neither does the Biscayan 
spend any thing upon entertaining his friends ; 
not that he is unsocial; he is social according to 
the custom of his country. During the winter, 
a circle of six, eight, or ten families form them- 
selves into a society, and agree to visit each 
other ; each chooses a week, and during each 
week the circle assembles every evening at the 
same house; they take chocolate before going 
out, and sup when they return ; the entertain- 
ment is entirely intellectual ; music, cards, and 
dancing fill up the evening. Upon one occasion 
only, does the circle eat together : all the money 
lost and won at cards, is made a purse, and is 
confided to one of the party; and during the 
summer it is converted into a dinner in the 
country, of which all the members of the circle 

There are no public amusements in Bilbao, 
excepting occasional bull fights. Two attempts 
to establish a theatre have failed ; a handsome 
stone theatre erected some years ago, was burnt 
down not long after it was erected ; and there 

26 SPAIN IN 1830. 

was strong reason to believe, that the conflagra- 
tion was wilful, and that the friars were at the 
bottom of it : another theatre constructed of 
wood, was subsequently opened ; but after a 
very short time it was pulled down by order of 
the public authorities ; and this was also gene- 
rally believed to have been owing to the inter- 
ference of the friars. 

The town of Bilbao is extremely rich. On 
the occasion of the king's visit a (ew years ago, 
the corporation expended no less than two 
million of reals (20,000/.) in feasts, decorations, 
bull-fights, &c., and to cover these expenses, it 
was not necessary to lay on any additional im- 
positions. These funds arise from dues upon the 
entry of all the necessaries of life, whether by 
land or by sea : beef is entirely a town monopoly ; 
the meat is farmed to butchers at certain prices, 
and retailed by them, and by this monopoly the 
Corporation realizes 1500 reals per day. The 
duties upon wine, soap, and oil, are also con- 
siderable, and the dues of port entry upon all 
articles of subsistence are 2id. per cent. But 
notwithstanding these dues, living is not ex- 
pensive. The following are the prices of some 
articles: beef is 10 quartos, or about 3^.; 
mutton, 3ir/., but it is generally of an indifferent 
quality ; a lamb costs from 20^/. to 2*. ; veal is 

SPAIN IN 1830. 27 

about 4^/. per lb., all of 17 oz. Bread varies in 
price, according to the quality : the best is l^d. 
per lb., but the coarsest kinds, and the bread of 
Indian corn, is not sold by weight. Many kinds 
of game are both plentiful and cheap : wood- 
cocks are frequently to be had at lOd. or Is. 
per pair. Groceries are also reasonable, and it 
is a curious fact, that loaf sugar, coming from 
England, is cheaper than raw sugar, direct from 
the Havannah : good wine costs a little less than 
3^/. per bottle. The Spanish country wines 
taste unpleasantly to a stranger, for they have 
almost all contracted, less or more, a peculiar 
flavour from the skins in which they are carried. 
There are two reasons why the Spanish wines 
are carried in skins: in the wine countries there 
is little wood to make casks ; but the principal 
reason is, that the cross-roads are not suited for 
carriages, and that mules can more conveniently 
carry skins than casks. Throughout Biscay, 
the wages of labour are from 10^/. to ly. ; and 
workmen, such as carpenters, masons. Sec. re- 
ceive from 20d. to 2s. per day. 

Among the first days of my residence in 
Bilbao, I visited the new cemetery, the model 
of which is worthy of being adopted in other 
places. This Campo Scoito has been inclosed in 
consequence of a quarrel between the Franciscan 

28 SPAIN IN 1830. 

Convent and the Chapter of Bilbao, respecting 
the dues of burial, in a place to which both 
claimed right ; and the Corporation completed 
the new cemetery, at an expense of not less 
than 30,000/. The gateway is beautiful and 
chaste, with this appropriate inscription over it: 

" Cada Paso, que vais dando 
Por la senda de la vida 
Mas y mas os va acercando 
Mortales, a la partida, 
Que en vano estais evitando." 

The design of the Campo Santo is this : a square 
area of about six acres is surrounded by a covered 
arcade, supported by doric columns ; the back of 
the arcade is an immense wall of brickwork, in 
which there are four rows of spaces for coffins, 
the opening one yard square, and six feet and a 
half long; into this, the coffin is deposited; the 
spaces which are not occupied are slightly closed 
up; and a ring in the centre, shews that they are 
vacant. When a coffin is deposited, the opening 
is built up with brick and lime, and a stone or 
marble slab, fitted into it, records the name of 
the buried. The cemetery is fitted to receive 
3000 dead — a great number for so small a space ; 
and the area beyond the arcade, is tastefully 
laid out as a garden and shrubbery. Besides 
the inscription I have noted down, there are 

SPAIN IN 1830. 


several others that struck me as being beautiful 
and well chosen. The following particularly, 
over the inner-gate, is striking: — 

" Deten sus pasos inciertos 
O Caminente ! repara, 
En que esta Puerta separa 
A Los vivos de los muertos." 

Which may be freely translated : — " Stop, 
thoughtless wanderer ! and reflect, — this gate 
separates the dead from the living." 

In returning from the cemetery to the town, 
I made a long circuit, visiting in my way the 
Iglesia de Bigofia, a church which takes its name 
from a miraculous image of our Lady of Bigoiia, 
deposited in it, and looked upon with extra- 
ordinary veneration by the lower orders in 
Bilbao. It happened to be a feast day, and a 
great number of persons were collected in the 
church, because upon all such days, the curtain 
that screens the miraculous image is withdrawn 
for a few moments — an opportunity not to be 
disregarded by any good Biscayan who desires 
to ensure the kind offices of the sainted Lady of 
Bigoiia. Before the service began, the officiating 
priest shewed me the sacristy, and a head of 
John the Baptist in wood; a very clever per- 
formance, by a native artist ; and I afterwards 

30 SPAIN IN 18.30. 

waited in the church long enough to see the 
curtain withdrawn, and the prostrations of three 
or four hundred devotees. There is a small 
foundation left to this church, for a curious pur- 
pose. The curate must go to the gate of the 
church at the commencement of every thunder 
storm, — say a certain prayer, — and sprinkle the 
sky with holy water. It appears, however, that 
the virtue of the water, as well as the water itself, 
has been sometimes dissipated before reaching 
the clouds ; for the church tower has been twice 
struck by lightning. 

In the course of my walk, I learned a curious 
fact, illustrating strongly the mixture of pride 
and generosity which is often found in the 
Spanish character. The Corporation being de- 
sirous of conducting an aqueduct and a road to 
Bilbao from a mountain about a league distant, 
applied to the proprietor (a grandee of Spain) 
to purchase the land through which these were 
to be carried. He refused to sell it; but said, 
that if the Corporation would petition him for a 
grant of the land, he would make them a pre- 
sent of it : they however wanted no favour, and 
would not condescend to this ; but supposing 
that the proprietor would be prevailed upon to 
sell, they commenced, and at length nearly 
finished the work. The grandee, offended at 

SPAIN IN 1830. 31 

this insolence, applied to the king for an order 
to demolish the work, and obtained it ; but just 
in time to prevent this, the Corporation peti- 
tioned the grandee, and the order was not only- 
rescinded, but the grant of the land was com- 
pleted. The water conveyed in this aqueduct 
forms a reservoir at the entrance of the town 
for a useful and rather a novel purpose : by 
opening a sluice, seven of the lov^'est streets in 
the town are inundated ; this is done every week 
during the summer heats, and is doubtless very 
useful in carrying away impurities. I walked 
through one of the lowest of the streets an hour 
before, and an hour after the purification ; and 
the difference in smell, freshness, and coolness, 
was most striking. 

Walking either in the streets, or in the neigh- 
bourhood of Bilbao, the convents and monas- 
teries are very conspicuous : they are almost all 
immense piles of building, of little architectural 
beauty, and are at once distinguished by the 
strong gratings that cover their windows. In 
the town there are four monasteries — the Fran- 
ciscans, the Capuchins, the Augustins, and tlie 
Carmelites : the two former of these subsist on 
charity, which is liberally bestowed, and they 
in their turn give charity to others. Every 
day, a great number of poor are fed after the 

32 SPAIN IN 1830. 

Franciscan friars have dined, and as they are a 
hundred and ten in number, the refuse of their 
dinner must be considerable. I visited the 
Franciscan convent accompanied by an English 
lady, and although I found the utmost polite- 
ness from the Superior, he was deaf to all my 
entreaties to permit the lady to enter the sa- 
cristy, to see a picture said to be by Raphael. 
This convent was partly destroyed by the 
French, and it was under its gateway that 
several of those military executions took place, 
which so disgraced the conduct of the French 
during their occupation of the province of Bis- 
cay. In the Carmelite convent, there are only 
five friars, who want for nothing that money 
can purchase ; they are extremely rich, and 
possess a charming property not far from Bil- 
bao, called ''el Desierto ;" but which might 
with greater propriety be called "el Faradaiso.'" 
Besides these monasteries within the town, 
there are two at a short distance from it — the 
Burcena convent of Mercenarios, and the Friars 
of San Mames, both of the Franciscan order. 

The female convents are also numerous ; these 
are, La Conception, a Franciscan order, in 
which there are 14 nuns; Santa Clara, also 
Franciscan, in which there are 10 nuns; El 
Convento de la Encarnacion, where there are 27 

SPAIN IN 1830. 


nuns ; el Convento de la Cruz, containing 12 
nuns ; Santa Monica, an Augustinian order, 
with 12 nuns; La Esperanza, containing 12, 
and La Merced, containing 10. There are 
altogether about 350 friars and nuns in Bilbao, 
and about 120 priests. In the province of Bis- 
cay, females profess at a very early age ; their 
noviciate generally commences about fifteen, 
and at the expiration of a year they take the veil. 
A nun must carry into the convent about 30,000 
reals (300/.) ; and to La Merced and Santa Mo- 
nica, considerably more. I ascertained, from a 
source of the most authentic kind, that three- 
fourths of the nuns who take the veil at this 
early age, die of a decline within four years. The 
climate, which in Biscay is so prolific in con- 
sumption, added to the \o\v and damp situation 
of some of the convents, may perhaps be ad- 
mitted to have some influence upon this pre- 
mature decay ; but 1 should incline to attribute 
a greater influence to causes more immediately 
referable to the unhappy and unnatural condi- 
tion of those who are shut out from the common 
privileges, hopes, and enjoyments of their kind. 
I visited the convent of Santa Monica in 
company with an old gentleman, an inhabitant 
of Bilbao, who had known several of the in- 
mates from childhood. We were only per- 

VOL. 1. D 

34 SPAIN IN 1830. 

mitted to converse through a double grating, 
which separated the small antechamber where 
we stood, from the convent burying-ground, 
where three of the nuns were ; two of them 
seemed to be above thirty, the other was under 
twenty ; my companion, a very jocose old man, 
jested, and amused them; and they in their turn 
prated, and laughed immoderately, and appeared 
to be in excellent spirits ; but the sight of an old 
acquaintance, and the novelty of a visit from an 
English lady, had probably produced a tempo- 
rary excitement : while, in the midst of their 
mirth, they were suddenly sent for by the ab- 
bess, who probably thought it wise to turn their 
thoughts into another channel. It is a pity, I 
think, that those who have separated themselves 
from the world, should afterwards be permitted 
to hold any communication with it; feelings 
may be stifled, and hopes buried, and time and 
habit may lead to forgetfulness, and even un- 
consciousness, of a busier, and it may be, a 
brighter scene ; but recollections are easily 
awakened, and it is cruel to revive that which 
must again be buried. 

Walking one evening to see the new hospital, 
which lies on the outskirts of the toMai, I was 
surprised at the great number of mules which 
were entering and leaving Bilbao ; the former 

SPAIN IN 1S;5(). 35 

laden with wine, soap and oil ; the latter with 
dried cod, which forms the staple of the Bilbao 
trade, and is an article of diet very extensively 
used throughout the greater part of Spain. 
There is a curious regulation respecting the 
trade of Bilbao with the interior, — no muleteer 
from Castile can carry away a load from any 
part of Biscay, unless he has brought a load 
with him ; and this load must consist of some- 
thing that may be eaten, drank, or burnt : this 
regulation ensures at all times to the Biscayan 
market an abundant supply, at a reasonable 
rate, of all the articles that come from the 
interior; nor is the regulation thought a hard 
one by the muleteer ; because, although owing 
to the abundant supply, he is frequently a loser 
by it, he knows that it would be insecure to 
carry money so far to the market : it is in fact 
a remnant of the original commerce of all na- 
tions — barter. 

I found the hospital well worthy of a visit ; 
it is not yet completed, but is calculated to ac- 
commodate 2o0 patients. When I visited it, 
there were only 50 patients, whose diseases 
were consumption and old age. One part of 
the establishment I greatly approve of; a ward 
of the building is appropriated for the reception 
of strangers, or persons of a superior rank in 

D 2 

36 SPAIN IN 1830. 

life, who may be desirous of good advice at a 
moderate expense, and without occasioning 
trouble to friends or relations : these pay half a 
dollar per day, and have all the best hospital 
attendance united with the comforts of a pri- 
vate house. I can scarcely conceive a more 
welcome piece of intelligence to an unfortunate 
stranger, seized with a severe malady in a 
foreign place, than the existence of an institu- 
tion like this. 

In walking through the wards, I noticed books 
in the hands of several of the patients ; these 
were chiefly forms of prayer ; but seeing one 
sick man laughing heartily over his studies, I 
had the curiosity to approach his bed near 
enough to ascertain that he was engaged with 
a comedy of Lopez ck Vega. 

Passing along the streets, I frequently met 
the boys belonging to a charity school, the only 
one in Bilbao ; they were, with few exceptions, 
very raggedly dressed, and most of them pro- 
vided with little bells, with which they produced 
not an inharmonious music : the cause of their 
ragged dress is easily explained by the want of 
funds, which arise solely from the trifling im- 
position of four reals per ton upon every foreign 
vessel entering the port. The only explanation 
I was able to get of the ringing of bells is, that 

SPAIN IN 1830. 37 

this custom is pleasing to the virgin. There is 
another sort of music peculiar to Biscay, of the 
most discordant kind, and which I cannot re- 
collect even now, without unpleasant sensations. 
This music is produced by the wheels of the 
carts drawn by oxen : these are solid, without 
spokes, and a strong wooden screw is made to 
press upon the axle of the wheel ; the con- 
sequence of this, is a sound so horribly grating, 
that the faintest conception of it cannot be con- 
veyed by words. The peasant supposes, that 
without this noise, the oxen would not go 
willingly; and if they be once accustomed to 
it, this may perhaps be true. No carriage being 
allowed to pass along the streets of Bilbao, 
they are of course free from this intolerable 
nuisance : in the town of Orcluna, also, it is not 
permitted ; but on all the roads of the Basque 
provinces, and especially in the streets of Vit- 
toria, this noise is so unintermitting, that no- 
thing could tempt me to reside in that town. 

Every evening while I remained in Bilbao, I 
spent half an hour in the Swiss Coffee-house — 
the only one in the town ; and one evening, I 
was much amused by a very curious scene I wit- 
nessed there. Four gentlemen were seated at a 
card-table when I entered the coffee-house, and 
at first I paid no particular attention to them ; 

38 SPAIN IN 1830. 

but accidentally resting my eye upon them while 
sipping my coffee, I was surprised to see one of 
the players shut one eye, and at the same time 
thrust his tongue out of his mouth ; from him, 
my eyes wandered to another, who at the same 
moment squinted with both eyes, and thrust 
forward his under-lip : I now saw that it was a 
constant succession of face-making, while all 
the while the game went on. It is impossible 
to describe the strange, ludicrous, and hideous 
faces of the players ; I was at first dumb with 
astonishment, and then convulsed with laughter, 
and all the while dying with curiosity to know 
the reason of so grotesque an exhibition. It 
was a Biscayan game, called mus; — answering 
to each card there is a particular contortion of 
the face, which interprets its value ; and the 
point of the game consists in the dexterity with 
which partners are able to convey to each other 
by grimaces, the state of each other's hand. 
This is a favourite game in Biscay, but it is said 
to require a lifetime to become expert in it : I 
should think it requires also the natural gift of 

There are many charming walks around 
Bilbao, up the river, and down the river, and 
among the neighbouring mountains ; and in 
whatever direction one turns, proofs are at 

SPAIN IN 1830. 39 

hand, of the enterprising spirit, and great in- 
dustry of the inhabitants in the improvement of 
land. Within the last ten years, much waste 
land has been brought under cultivation : of this 
waste land, there are two kinds ; one, which 
is the property of the jurisdiction, and which is 
parcelled out to individuals, the price being 
fixed by arbitration : the other, which is the 
property of individuals who possess entailed 
estates, and cannot dispose of waste land. Some 
enterprising person oifers to cultivate a portion 
of this land, under the agreement that the pro- 
duce for a certain period, ten, or twelve years 
perhaps, is to be the property of the cultivator, 
and that at the expiration of that term, the cul- 
tivator is to rent the land of the proprietor. By 
these two modes, a great part of the cultivable 
land of Biscay has been brought under cultiva- 
tion ; and the vine is now extensively grown 
upon all the surrounding slopes. 

The following few particulars respecting the 
climate, diseases, &c. of Biscay, I obtained from 
a report drawn up by a few of the principal 
medical men of the province, at the request of 
the Royal College of Physicians in London. 
The medium heat of the thermometer in sum- 
mer is from 19 to 21 of Reaumur, and in winter 
from 5 to 7. In summer, the thermometer 

40 SPAIN IN 1830. 

scarcely ever rises above 26, and in winter, 
rarely falls below : changes in the tempera- 
ture are sudden and extraordinary ; the mercury 
having been known to rise and fall from 3" to 
4" within a few minutes. The most prevalent 
winds are S. and N. W. ; the S. the most con- 
stant in autumn, the N. W. in spring. The 
finest months are August, September, October, 
and sometimes November ; the spring months 
are the most unsettled, rains being then almost 
as frequent as in winter. The summer months 
are the most salubrious ; autumn less so ; and 
winter and spring may be said to be unhealthy. 
The diseases most common in Biscay are cuta- 
neous diseases ; and catarrhs, especially pul- 
monary, which often terminate in pulmon. 
phthisis. Inflammations of the pleura, lungs, 
and bowels, — and rheumatism, are the most 
numerous after the class of pulmonary diseases; 
and of all these, the atmospheric changes may 
be considered the predisposing cause. The 
province of Biscay abounds in medicinal plants ; 
but excepting a few simples used by the inha- 
bitants, these do not enter into the Spanish 
pharmacopeia. Amongst these medicinal plants, 
are laurus nobilis, arbutus unedo, rabnus car- 
tarticus, erica cantabrica, smilax aspera, hu- 
mulus lupulus, tormentila erecta, poligala amara, 

SPAIN IN 1830. 4 1 

digitalis purpurea, daphne laureola, gentiana 
luthea, anethenus nobilis. The number of 
deaths in Bilbao, calculated from the parochial 
register by an average of five years, amounts to 
one in forty-six yearly. 

The Basque provinces enjoy many separate 
privileges, of which they are extremely jealous ; 
but Biscay Proper enjoys more privileges than 
either of the other Basque provinces. I shall 
mention a few of the most remarkable. Biscay 
acknowledges no king; the king of Spain is 
not king, but lord of Biscay. This is but a 
nominal privilege : but the next is more impor- 
tant. The conscription does not extend to Bis- 
cay ; in case of invasion only, Biscay is bound 
to furnish troops, but as soon as the demand 
upon their services is past, they are entitled to 
disband themselves. The next is a highly 
honourable privilege, whatever may be thought 
of its solid advantage : a Biscayan cannot be 
hanged, but must be strangled, like a Spanish 
noble ; nor can stripes be inflicted as a punish- 
ment. The only difl'erence between hanging 
and strangling consists in this, that the punish- 
ment of strangulation is inflicted while the cri- 
minal is seated. The next Biscayan privilege 
is a privilege annexed to his religion ; it is, that 
no foreigner is entitled to establish himself in 

42 SPAIN IN 1830. 

any trade, unless he profess the Roman Catholic 
religion. The code of laws by which Biscay 
is governed, is different not only from those of 
Spain, but also from those of the other Basque 
provinces : this is no doubt a right, but whether 
it be a right conveying any advantage is more 
questionable. I understood that justice in Bis- 
cay was badly administered, and that a code of 
separate laws in no respect increased the chances 
of the poor in a contest with the rich. Ques- 
tions arising in Biscay, although decided by the 
laws of Biscay, are not decided within the pro- 
vince, but are subject to numerous appeals. 
They originate with the Court of the Corregidor; 
from which the first appeal is to the Chancery 
of Valladolid ; from this to the Council of Cas- 
tile ; then to the tribunal de mil ducados, so called 
because that sum must be deposited before the 
appeal can be received ; and lastly to the king, 
under the name of " appelar de notoria injusticia" 
It is evident, that with the power of thus pro- 
longing the term of litigation, and the necessity 
of a large deposit, the richest litigator must 
enter upon his lawsuit with very reasonable 
hopes of success. 

Biscay is not obliged to pay any government 
impositions : the king has no certain revenue 
from Biscay, but when money is wanted, he 

SPAIN IN 1830. 43 

must ask it, and a part of what is demanded is 
generally given ; but if any demand be made 
inconsistent with the laws or privileges of Bis- 
cay, a thing that has sometimes happened, 
Biscay returns this contradictory answer; " Se 
obedese, y nose cunipk." 

The head of the province, is the Corregidor, 
who is named by the king of Spain ; but an appeal 
from the corregidor to the deputies, seems to 
render the precedence of the corregidor merely 
nominal. The deputies are elected thus : the 
general election for the nomination of deputies, 
syndics, and regidores, takes place every three 
years. Each village within the province sends 
one or two electors, according to its size ; the 
names of the villages are written upon separate 
pieces of paper, and all are put into a wheel, 
and the first four that turn up, have the right of 
election, or of naming the public functionaries 
of the province. 

The privileges, the civil laws, and the mari- 
time laws of Biscay, are contained in three 
separate volumes ; the latter of these form the 
basis of the maritime laws of Spanish South 



Waggon travelling; Scenery; Bills of Fare, and Expenses; second 
Visit to Vittoria ; Departure for Madrid ; the Ebro ; Privileges 
of the Military; Old Castile; Husbandry; Burgos; Beggars; 
Posadas ; Traits of Misery in a Castilian Village ; New Castile ; 
Quixotic Adventure; the Somo-sierra and Approach to the 
Capital ; Sketches of the Environs, and Arrival in Madrid ; 
Information for Travellers. 

Upon those roads in Spain where there are no 
diligences, the traveller may generally find an 
ordinario, or galera ; two kinds of waggons, the 
former without, the latter commonly, but not 
alv/ays, with springs, in either of which he may 
be accommodated with a place, — a seat I can 
scarcely call it, — at a price, moderate in compa- 
rison with the enormous expense of hiring a 
private conveyance. In one of these ordinarios, 
I left Bilbao for Vittoria, by a road different 
from that by which I had already travelled. 
Nothing can be more luxurious than travelling 
by a waggon on springs during hot weather : 

SPAIN IN 1830. 45 

neither diligence nor private carriage can be 
compared with it : it is open before and behind, 
so that there is a fine current of air; it is covered 
above, so that the sun is excluded, and the tra- 
veller may lie all his length upon clean straw. 
As for the rate of travelling, it is not indeed 
very rapid ; but fifty miles a day is a sufficient 
distance for one who is desirous of seeing the 
country he passes through : waggons with 
springs, however, are much more rarely to be 
met with, than those without them ; and the 
jolting, of course, neutralizes in part the other 
advantages I have named. 

Leaving Bilbao, the road winds through a 
narrow valley among hills covered to the sum- 
mit with oak, and rising to the height of 
between 2000 and 3000 feet ; the valley, vary- 
ing in breadth from one to two miles, is every 
where cultivated ; the crops, even at this early 
period, were already partly reaped; and in many 
places the country people were busy in the 
fields. Every where around, there was much 
picturesque beauty and many rural pictures : 
a little rivulet flowed in capricious turnings 
through the valley ; and as Biscayan industry 
always carries a road straight forward, what- 
ever obstacles are encountered, the stream was 
spanned every few hundred yards by a stone 

46 SPAIN IN 1830. 

bridge, built in the form of an aqueduct, and 
generally grown over with ivy : fine old Spanish 
chestnut trees were scattered over the meadows 
that bordered the stream, and here and there 
groups of cattle stood, or lay under them. This 
kind of scenery continued the same for about 
six leagues, when we stopped at a small town to 
dine, and refresh the mules. At this village we 
were destined to fare ill. We were ushered into 
a room where a priest, and two other persons, 
had finished what seemed by its wrecks to have 
been an excellent repast : and the table was 
immediately cleared to make way for our enter- 
tainment : silver spoons and forks, handsome 
wine decanters, of crystal gilt, and clean nap- 
kins, seemed to announce something respect- 
able ; but the dinner, when it appeared, consisted 
of a little cold fish, and the bones — literally the 
bones, of the chickens which the priest and his 
friends had picked ! I made my way into the 
kitchen, and discovering a fine fat hen roasting, 
and almost ready for the table, I began to 
repent my too hasty condemnation of the enter- 
tainment ; but upon telling the master that the 
fowl was sufficiently roasted, I was informed 
that it was not for me, but for the muleteer, 
who in Spain always fares better than those 
whom he conducts. I was forced, therefore, to 

SPAIN IN 1830. 47 

return to the cold fish and chicken bones, for 
which the landlord had the effrontery to charge 
twelve reals. I paid him, however, only one 
half of his demand, and got into the waggon, 
followed only by a few Biscayan growls. 

After leaving this town, we began to ascend 
the mountains which separate Biscay Proper 
from the province of Alava. In passing these 
mountains, a curious illusion is produced by the 
extreme whiteness of the stone which composes 
the peaks of some of the Biscayan range. It is 
scarcely possible to persuade oneself that these 
are not snow peaks ; nothing indeed but a pre- 
vious knowledge of the elevation of this range, 
and of the consequent impossibility of snow 
lying upon it, could dismiss the illusion. A 
little before dusk we alighted at the parador at 
Vittoria, where, as the Infante was no longer 
an inmate, I found comfortable accommoda- 
tion. At this hotel, and at all the posadas 
between Bayonne and Madrid, in connexion 
with the establishment of the royal diligences, 
there is a tariff of prices, which I shall here 
transcribe, for the information of those who may 
wish to know something of the expenses of tra- 
velling in this part of Spain. 

Desayuno, which means a slight morning's 
repast, and which may consist either of a cup 

48 SPAIN IN 1830. 

of chocolate, tea, or coffee, with bread ; or of 
two eggs, with bread and wine, is charged two 
reals, or five pence. 

Almuerzo (Dejeune a la fourchette), eight reals. 

Comida (Dinner), twelve rxals, or 2s. 6d. This 
being the most important meal, the tariff speci- 
fies the articles of v/hich it must consist, though, 
for some of these, equivalents are allowed. The 
following is the bill of fare : — Soup ; an olla, or 
puchero, which is composed of fowl, bacon, beef, 
sausage, Spanish peas, and pot-herbs; a fritter, 
or ham and eggs ; two dishes of dressed meat ; 
a pudding ; pepper in the pod, dressed with a 
sauce ; small white beans (haricots) ; a roast ; 
a salad ; a dessert of three dishes ; a glass of 
brandy ; and bread and wine at discretion. 
Melon is not included in the dessert of three 
dishes ; this fruit is not eaten in the north of 
Spain at the dessert, but is introduced after 
soup. The dinner, it must be admitted, is suf- 
ficiently abundant; but, considering the low 
price of provisions, it is not cheap. The only 
one of these dishes which a stranger can eat, is 
the most truly Spanish among them, — the 
pudiero, — because it is the only one in which 
there is neither oil nor garlic. The tariff also 
provides for the traveller's comfort in bed ; this 
is charged at four reals {\0d.)^ and the follow- 

SPAIN IN 1S;30. 49 

ing articles are ordered to be provided : a straw 
mattress ; another of wool ; two clean sheets ; 
two pillows, and clean pillow-cases; a quilt; 
and, in winter, a blanket. All that the tariff 
enjoins, is rigidly complied with ; and, where- 
ever there is a tariff, the traveller may always 
depend upon a sufficient meal, a clean bed, and 
a just charge. 

Vittoria may at present be considered a 
decayed town. Ever since the war of independ- 
ence, it has been a falling place ; and this may 
be easily accounted for, from the insecurity of 
possessions in a town lying so near the French 
frontier. At the time when Napoleon threat- 
ened to annex to France all that part of Spain 
which lies to the north of the Ebro, many left 
Vittoria; and several persons exchanged their 
estates in that neighbourhood, for possessions 
farther in the interior. At present, there are 
numerous houses untenanted, and not a few in 
a state of ruin ; and the manufactures of which 
Vittoria formerly could boast, now scarcely 
exist, — no one being disposed to sink capital in 
establishing that which the first commotion 
upon the frontier might be the means of de- 

I experienced some difficulties at Vittoria 

VOL. I. E 

50 SPAIN IN 1830. 

with my passport. I had intended to have 
entered Spain by Perpignan,but having changed 
my intention, I was in possession of only a 
French provisional passport, backed by the 
Spanish Consul at Bayonne. I was at first 
told, that I could not be allowed to proceed ; 
but, upon producing a letter of recommendation, 
from Lord Aberdeen to Mr. Addington, the 
British Minister at Madrid, the difficulties were 
overcome, and 1 was permitted to proceed. 

I was detained two days in Vittoria, waiting 
a vacant place in the Madrid diligence, which 
I stepped into at three o'clock on the morning 
of the third day ; and, after a few hours' drive 
through a well -cultivated corn country, we 
reached Miranda, and, crossing the Ebro, 
entered old Castile. The Ebro is here a very 
insignificant stream, little resembling the majes- 
tic river which I afterwards crossed in Cata- 
lunia ; but the interest with which a river is 
regarded, is of a borrowed kind; even where 
the traveller is able to step over it, it is invested 
with a dignity commensurate with its future 
destinies. But the Ebro, even if it were pos- 
sible to deprive it of that charm which is 
common to every great river when beheld near 
its source, has claims peculiarly its own ; it is 
full of historic recollections — it gave its name 

SPAIN IN 1830. 51 

to the whole of ancient Spain — and memory, 
set sail upon its waters, floats towards the 
empires of Carthage and of Rome. And the 
Ebro possesses still another source of interest 
to all who visit Spain ; for it is upon its banks 
that we are first reminded of the exploits of the 
valorous Knight of La Mancha, and of the 
undying genius of Cervantes, — one of whose 
happiest inventions is the fancy of his hero, 
that his boat, floating down the Ebro, has 
crossed the equinoctial ; and the proof of this, 
which he demands of Sancho. 

I had been told that on entering old Castile 
we should be subjected to a rigorous custom- 
house search ; but in Spain, such matters 
always depend upon circumstances. A Colonel 
in the Spanish service chanced to occupy a seat 
in the diligence ; and no custom-house officer in 
Spain, dare to put a person holding a military 
commission to a moment's inconvenience. The 
consequence was, that in place of being detained 
three hours upon the bridge, until every pack- 
age should be lowered and opened, the Colonel 
merely thrust his arm out of the window; and 
the custom-house officers, seeing around his 
wrist the proofs of his military rank, doffed 
their caps, and stood back ; and the diligence 

E 2 

52 SPAIN IN 1S30. 

passed on. Superior military rank in the Spa- 
nish service is not indicated by more gorgeous 
trappings : the Colonel discards the epaulets, 
and is known by two narrow stripes round the 
wrist, while the General merely invests his loins 
with a crimson girdle. 

Upon first entering Castile, the country 
affords some promise of interest. We traverse 
a narrow defile, guarded by precipitous and 
majestic rocks, and are pleased by the pic- 
turesque views which are caught at intervals 
on both sides ; but this defile does not extend 
more than a league in length, and we then 
enter upon an open and flat corn country, 
which stretches all the way to Burgos. The 
soil in this tract of land appeared to be very 
unequal. I saw whole fields covered with 
thistles, among which flocks of sheep were 
picking a scanty meal ; and, although I was 
unable to judge of the productiveness of other 
parts by the growing crops, the harvest being 
in many places already gathered, I observed 
vast heaps of grain every half league or less ; 
part of it thrashed and winnowed, and part 
going through these operations. All through 
both the Castiles, the grain is not housed ; 
large flat spots, one or two hundred yards 
across, are selected for its reception — here it is 

SPAIN IN 1830. 53 

thrashed and winnowed ; the former operation 
being performed by passing over it a sledge 
with a curved bottom, drawn by one mule, 
which is guided by a woman who stands upon 
the sledge, and who facilitates the operation by 
her weight. This custom of keeping the grain 
in the open air, adds much to the labour of the 
husbandman : if rain come, there is no remedy 
but to cover the grain heaps with cloths,— a very 
ineffectual protection against the torrents that 
sometimes descend from Spanish skies ; and 
when the rain ceases, it is necessary again to 
spread the grain, and expose it to the influence 
of the sun. 

We reached Burgos early in the afternoon, 
and the short interval allowed us there, sufficed 
for a glance at the cathedral. In its exterior, 
the cathedral of Burgos will yield to no other 
in Spain : in the number, and elegance of the 
pinnacles which surmount it, it surpasses them 
all ; but the interior, although remarkable for the 
beauty of the workmanship -with which in some 
parts it is decorated, and although entitled 
to rank among the most magnificent temples 
dedicated to religion, is yet inferior to the 
cathedrals both of Toledo and of Seville, in 
grandeur, as well as in richness ; and as I 
purposed seeing both of these cathedrals, I 

54 SPAIN IN 1880. 

regreted less, the impossibility of examining 
minutely, the cathedral of Burgos. The little 
that I saw of Burgos pleased me ; and had I not 
subsequently visited Toledo, I should have set 
down Burgos as the best specimen I had seen of 
an old Castilian city : but in this, Toledo stands 

Between Burgos and Lerma, I passed through 
vast tracts of uncultivated, and much of it, 
uncultivable land, mostly covered with a thick 
underwood of aromatic and medicinal plants ; 
in some parts, the perfume from these was so 
strong, that I could scarcely believe myself to 
be elsewhere than in an apothecary's shop. I 
found all this part of Old Castile very scantily 
peopled ; and the quantity of cultivated land 
seemed to be quite equal to the probable 
demand upon its produce. At night- fall we 
reached Lerma, where a comfortable posada 
received us. We were beset at the door by a 
crowd of ragged beggars, who however, urged 
their claims scarcely more obtrusively than the 
poor Franciscan monk of Sterne, who crossed 
his hands upon his breast, and retired. The 
Spanish beggar is unlike the beggar of every 
other country, in this — that he is easily repulsed ; 
he seldom urges his claim twice ; but indeed, 
his raggedness, and apparent destitution, often 

SPAIN IN 1830. 00 

render a second appeal unnecessary. I observed 
that every one of these beggars wore three or 
four necklaces, and several rings— baubles, no 
doubt blessed at the shrine of some saint. In 
the posada at Lerma, I found iron bedsteads, 
a most acceptable discovery in a hot climate ; 
and the supper table was both neatly laid out, 
and well provided. The miseries of an Anda- 
lusian Venta were yet in reserve. Between 
Vittoria and Madrid, the traveller has little 
cause of complaint ; I always found a clean bed, 
and something upon the table, of which it was 
possible to make a tolerable meal. There is 
only one part of the arrangement defective : in 
place of supping when the diligence arrives, 
there is generally an interval of two hours, 
which might be spent in sleep, if the arrange- 
ments were better. In all the posadas upon 
this road, the traveller pays for dinner and 
supper whether he partakes of them or not : 
this is what the Spaniards call indemnificacion, 
which is charged at two- thirds of the price of 
the meal. This indemnification I think perfectly 
fair ; were it otherwise, the traveller could find 
nothing upon his arrival ; for upon a road where 
there are no travellers, the innkeeper dare not 
trust to the appetites, or will, of those who 
arrive by the diligence ; because if his meal 

56 SPAIN IN 1830. 

should be rejected, he could find no other 
market for it. 

The country to the south of Lerma is a 
desert ; indeed it is nothing better than a desert 
that stretches between the Ebro and the Diioro. 
I passed this latter river at Aranda ; a small, 
wretched place, full of misery and rags ; and 
afterwards traversed extensive woods of chestnut 
and ilex, which stretch three or four leagues to 
the foot of a low sierra, which is the natural 
boundary between Old and New Castile. Soon 
after entering this sierra, I passed through the 
most miserable village that I have seen in any 
part of Spain : it is quite impossible for one 
who has never seen the very lowest of the 
Spanish poor, to form the smallest conception of 
the general appearance of the inhabitants of 
this village. I saw between two and three 
hundred persons ; and among these, there was 
not one, whose rags half covered his nakedness. 
Men and women were like bundles of ill-assorted 
shreds and patches of a hundred hues and sizes ; 
and as for the children, I saw several entirely 
naked, and many that might as well have been 
without their tattered coverings. I threw a few 
biscuits among the children ; and the eager- 
ness with which they fought for, and devoured 
them, reminded mc rather of young wolves than 

SPAIN IN 18;50. 57 

of human beings. The badness of tlie pavement, 
and the steepness of the street, made it neces- 
sary for the diligence to go slowly ; and I 
profited by the delay to look into one or two 
of the miserable abodes of these unfortunate 
beings. I found a perfect unison between the 
dweller and his dwellins^ : I could not see one 
article of furniture ; no table, no chair : a few 
large stones supplied the place of the latter ; 
for the former there was no occasion ; and 
something resembling a mattress upon the mud 
floor, was the bed of the family. Leaving this 
village, I noticed two stone pillars, and a 
wooden pole across, indicating that the proprie- 
tor possesses the power of life and death within 
his own domain. I forget the name of the 
grandee at whose door lies all this misery ; but 
if the power of life and death be his, and if he 
cannot make the former more tolerable, it 
would be humanity to inflict the latter. 

A short distance beyond this village, we 
passed into New Castile, and stopped for the 
night at a small hamlet at the entrance of the 
Soino Sierra. Here, I cannot refrain from re- 
lating a somewhat ludicrous incident that took 
place during the night. The chamber in which 
I slept, was div ided from another smaller cham- 

58 SPAIN IN 1880. 

ber merely by a curtain ; and this inner room 
was occupied by a young Spaniard. We retired 
to our respective beds about the same hour, and 
1 was speedily fast asleep. Some time during 
the night, I was awoke by loud, and most 
uncommon noises; and when I was sufficiently 
awake to be master of my senses, I discovered 
that the noises proceeded from the adjacent 
chamber ; but the nature of the noise was such, 
as set at defiance all conjecture as to its cause. 
I heard the stamping of feet, the clanking of 
spurs, and the strokes of some heavy instru- 
ment ; but the combatants, whoever they were, 
fought in silence, for not a word was uttered. 1 
need scarcely say that sounds so unaccountable 
in my immediate vicinity, excited my utmost 
curiosity ; and stealing out of bed, I groped my 
way to the door leading into the passage, that I 
might obtain a light ; this, I soon procured, and 
returning to the scene of action, I found the 
noises as loud and as strange as ever. I cau- 
tiously drew aside the curtain, and a spectacle 
was revealed almost worthy of Don Quixote. 
There stood the Spaniard in his shirt, booted 
and spurred, his cloak thrown over one arm, and 
the other, dealing blows right and left with a 
naked sword. I was about to make a hasty 

SPAIN IN 1830. 59 

retreat, conceiving the unfortunate gentleman to 
be in a state of derangement, when he called 
out to me to give him a light, and at the same 
time ceased battle. The explanation is this — 
not being able to get off his boots, my com- 
panion had lain down booted and spurred ; and 
as was his usual custom, he had deposited a 
sword near his bed ; he was awoke by the 
tread of several rats over his face ; at least so he 
asserted; and in a state between sleeping and 
waking, he had jumped from bed, grasped his 
sword, seized his cloak as a buckler, and com- 
menced warfare. But for my own part, 1 believe 
the action of the Spaniard to have begun in 
sleep, and to have been the result of a dream. 
We were afterwards intimately acquainted, and 
saw each other almost every day while I 
remained in Madrid ; and we often laughed 
together at the recollection of the Quixotic 
adventure in the posada. 

We left the village where we had slept, some 
hours before day-break. I never beheld a more 
refulgent moon than shone that ni^ht. I was 
never before able to distinguish colours by 
moonlight ; but this night, the scene presented 
almost the distinctness and variety of a sun- 
lit landscape, with the soft and dewy mellow- 

60 SPAIN IN 1830. 

ness of a tenderer light. The scenery of the 
Somo-Sierra is rocky, wild and dreary; robbers 
are occasionally seen here ; and the diligence 
had taken two additional guards from the last 
village. Before day-break we had passed the 
Sierra, and we then entered upon the wide arid 
desert, in the centre of which stands the capital 
of Spain. As we approached Madrid, we passed 
long trains of mules, laden with cut straw for 
the use of the mules in the metropolis ; and we 
also passed some trains laden with bales of 
goods, every mule having a carabine slung by 
its side. 

From the Somo-Sierra to the gates of Madrid, 
a distance of nearly thirty miles, there is not a 
tree to be seen : not a garden ; not one country 
house ; scarcely an isolated farm-house or cot- 
tage, and only three or four very inconsiderable 
villages. Great part of the land is uncultivated, 
and that part of it which is laboured, and which 
produces grain, is mostly covered with weeds 
and stones. In the midst of this desert stands 
Madrid, which is not visible until you approach 
within less than two leagues of the gate. Its 
appearance from this side is not striking : the 
city seems small ; and although we may count 
upwards of 50 spires and towers, none of these 

SPAIN IN 1830. Gl 

are so elevated or imposing, as to awaken cu- 
riosity like that which is felt when we first 
discover the towers of some of the temples dedi- 
cated to religion, in others of the Spanish cities. 
If the traveller turned his back upon Madrid 
when within half a mile of the gates, he might 
still believe himself to be a hundred miles 
from any habitation : the road stretches away, 
speckled only by a few mules ; there are no 
carriages ; no horsemen ; scarcely even a pedes- 
trian : there is, in fact, not one sign of vicinity 
to a great city. 

I entered Madrid about mid- day, and after a 
very slight examination of luggage at the cus- 
tom-house, I took up my residence at the Cruz 
de Malta. There are only two hotels in Madrid 
that are habitable — the Cruz de Alalia, and the 
FontaJia de Oro,— hut both of these are as far as 
possible from being comfortable. I was charged 
at the Cruz de Malta, the extraordinary sum of 
60 reals, \2s. 6d., for one room, for one day ; a 
charge that immediately suggested to me the 
propriety of establishing myself in private lodg- 
ings as speedily as possible. 

Before concluding this chapter, let me say 
a single word respecting the mode and con- 
veniences, and expenses of travelling from 

62 SPAIN IN 1830. 

Bayonne to Madrid. There are only a few 
roads in Spain that are passable for carriages, 
and these of course connect the great towns. 
These roads are, from Madrid to Bayonne, — 
from Madrid to Seville, — from Madrid to Za- 
ragossa and Barcellona, —from Madrid to Va- 
lentia, — from Madrid to Salamanca, — and from 
Madrid to Portugal. There are also a few others 
from one provincial town to another ; such as 
from Valencia to Barcellona, — from Barcellona 
to the frontier, — from Burgos to Valladolid, and 
perhaps two or three others. There are not 
more than twelve roads in Spain passable for a 
four-wheeled carriage ; and upon all of these, 
there are now diligences established ; of which, 
the accommodation and conveniences are nearly 
equal. I confine my remarks at present to 
diligence travelling; I shall by and by, have 
many opportunities of enlarging upon the very 
different modes of travelling in Andalusia, 
Murcia, and Granada. I have no hesitation in 
affirming, that the Spanish diligences are the 
best in the world ; they are extremely commo- 
dious, well cushioned, and well hung, and are 
admirably contrived for the exclusion of both 
heat and cold. Like the French diligences, they 
have a coupe, in all respects as good as a post- 

SPAIN IN 1830. 63 

chaise, and generally they have no rotonde : they 
are drawn by seven, eight, or nine mules, ac- 
cording to the nature of the road, and travel at 
the rate of seven miles an hour. The conductors 
are remarkably civil ; and in punctuality as to 
the hours of departure and arrival, and in every 
arrangement that can conduce to the comfort of 
the passengers, there is no room for improve- 
ment. When a passenger secures his seat, he 
receives a paper from the bureau, specifying the 
precise place he is to occupy ; and when he 
delivers his baggage, he is presented with a 
receipt for the articles delivered, and for which 
the proprietors are responsible. The price of 
places in the Spanish diligences varies greatly. 
In some roads the fare is as low as in France or 
England ; on others, it is more expensive than 
travelling post. From Bayonne to Madrid, the 
fare, including conductor and postilions, is some- 
thing less than 5/. ; but from Madrid to Seville, 
about one-fourth greater distance, the expense 
is nearly double ; and it may be right to men- 
tion that each passenger is allowed 25 lb. weight 
of baggage ; for every pound beyond this, he 
pays one real, 2^d. These details may appear 
to some to be insignificant ; but independently 
of the obligation that lies upon a traveller, to 

CA SPAIN IN 1830. 

withhold no useful information, I cannot but 
think that such details may occasionally throw 
some light upon the state of a country. For my 
own part, I may say most truly, that the regu- 
larity and order, I might almost say, the per- 
fection, visible in every department of the 
establishment of public conveyances throughout 
Spain, struck me with astonishment, and may 
perhaps afford some data by which we may 
judge of the improvement of which Spain might 
be susceptible under more favourable circum- 



Streets and Street Population ; Female Dress : the Mantilla, the 
Fan ; aspect of the Streets of Madrid at different hours ; the 
Siesta ; Shops ; good and bad Smells ; State of the lower Orders • 
Analysis of the Population ; Street Sketches ; Sunday in Ma- 
drid ; the Calle de Alcala ; Convents ; the Street of the Inquisi- 
tion; private Apartments in Madidd; the Prado and its Attrac- 
tions; ludicrous Incongruities; Spanish Women, and their 
Claims ; the Fan and its uses ; Portraits ; inconvenient Exaction 
of Loyalty ; the Philosophy of good walking ; the Retiro ; Cas- 
tilian Skies; the Cafe Catalina and its Visitors; other Coffee 
Rooms, and Political Reflections ; the Botanical Garden, strange 
Regulation on entering ; the Theatres ; Spanish Play Bills • 
Teatro del Principe ; the Cazuela and Intrigue ; Spanish Comedy ; 
the Bolero ; the Italian Company ; cultivation of Music in 
Madrid ; the Guitar ; Vocal Music ; Spanish Music. 

The traveller who arrives in Madrid from the 
north, has greatly the advantage over him who 
reaches the capital from any other point : every 
thing is newer to him. If one enter Spain at 
Cadiz, and travel through Seville and Cordova 

VOL. I. J. 

66 SPAIN IN 1830. 

to Madrid, the edge of curiosity is blunted ; 
much of the novelty of Spanish life is already 
exhausted ; and Madrid possesses comparatively 
little to interest : but travelling to the capital, 
through Castile, one arrives in Madrid almost as 
unlearned in the modes of Spanish life, as if the 
journey had been performed by sea ; nor is the 
interest with which the traveller afterwards 
sees Cardova and Seville greatly diminished, 
by having previously seen Madrid. For, al- 
though the aspect of a Spanish town, and the 
modes of Spanish life are then familiar to him, — 
Cordova, and Seville, and the other cities of 
the south, possess an exclusive interest, in the 
remains of the Moorish empire, — in the pecu- 
liarity of the natural productions around them 
— in the climate, which exercises an important 
influence upon the habits of the people, — and in 
the taint of Moorish usages, visible in all those 
provinces which continued the longest time 
under the dominion of the Moors. With curi- 
osity therefore on the tiptoe, to see the capital 
of Spain, and the Spaniards in their capital, I 
hastened into the streets. 

The stranger who walks for the first time 
through the streets of Madrid, is struck with 

SPAIN IN 18,30. G7 

the sombreness of the prospect that is presented 
to him : this, he speedily discovers, arises from 
the costume of the women. It is the varied 
and many-coloured attire of the female sex, 
that gives to the streets of other great cities 
their air of gaiety and liveliness. No pink, and 
green, and yellow, and blue silk bonnets, nod 
along the streets of Madrid ; for the women 
wear no bonnets, — no ribbons of more than all 
the hues of the rainbow, chequer the pave- 
ment ; for the women of Madrid do not under- 
stand the use of ribbons. Only conceive the 
sombreness of a population without a bonnet or 
a ribbon, and all, or nearly all, in black ! yet 
such is the population of Madrid. Every 
woman in Spain wears a mantilla, which varies 
in quality and expense, with the station of the 
wearer : and, for the benefit of those who, 
though they may have heard of a mantilla, have 
an imperfect idea of what it is, I shall describe 
it. A mantilla, is a scarf thrown over the head 
and shoulders ; behind, and at the sides, it 
descends nearly to the waist ; and falling in 
front over a very high comb, is gathered, and 
fastened, generally by something ornamental, 

F 2 

68 SPAIN IN 1830. 

just above the forehead, at the lower part of 
the hair. Of old, there was a veil attached to 
the fore-part of the mantilla, which was used 
or thrown back, according to the fancy of the 
wearer; but veils are now rarely seen in Spain, 
excepting at mass. Of the rank and means of 
a Spanish woman, something may be gathered 
from the mantilla, though this cannot be consi- 
dered any certain criterion, since Spanish 
women will make extraordinary sacrifices for 
the sake of dress. Yet there are three distinct 
grades of the mantilla: the lady in the upper 
ranks of life, and most of those in the middle 
ranks, wear the lace mantilla ; some of blond — 
some of English net, worked in Spain ; and 
these vary in price, from 41. or 51. to 20/. The 
Bourgeoises generally wear the mantilla, part 
lace and part silk ; the lace in front, and the 
silk behind, with lace trimmings ; and the 
lower orders wear a mantilla wholly of silk, or 
of silk, trimmed with velvet. Spain is the only 
country in Europe in which a national dress 
extends to the upper ranks ; but even in Spain 
this distinction begins to give way. In the 
streets, no one yet ventures to appear without 
the mantilla; but French hats are frequently 

SPAIN IN 1830. 69 

seen in carriages and in the theatre ; and the 
black silk gown, once as indispensible as the 
mantilla, sometimes gives place to silks of other 
colours ; and even a French or English printed 
muslin, may occasionally be seen on the Prado. 
But although the sombre dress of the women, 
and the consequent absence of bright colours, 
seemed at first to give a gloomy cast to the ex- 
terior of the population of Madrid, a little closer 
observance of it disclosed a variety and pic- 
turesqueness not to be found in any other of 
the European countries. The dress of the 
women, although sombre, bears in the eye of a 
stranger a character of both novelty and grace. 
The round turned-up hat and crimson sash of the 
peasant ; the short green jacket and bare legs 
and sandals of the innumerable water-carriers, 
who call aqua fresca ; the sprinkling of the mi- 
litary costume ; and above all, the grotesque 
dresses of the multitudes of friars of different 
orders, gave to the scene a character of origi- 
nality exclusively its own. No feature in the 
scene before me appeared more novel than the 
universality of the fan; a Spanish woman would 
be quite as likely to go out of doors without her 
shoes, as without her fan. I saw not one female 

70 SPAIN IN 1830. 

in the streets without this indispensible append- 
age. The portly dame, and her stately daughter; 
the latter six paces in advance, as is the uni- 
versal custom throughout Spain, walked fanning 
themselves ; the child of six years old, held 
mamma with one hand, and fanned herself with 
the other ; the woman sitting at her stall selling 
figs, sat fanning herself; and the servant coming 
from market, carried her basket with one arm, 
and fanned herself with the other. To me, who 
had never before seen a fan but in the hands of 
a lady, this seemed ridiculous enough. 

The streets of Madrid present a totally dif- 
ferent aspect, at different hours of the day : 
before one o'clock, all is nearly as I have de- 
scribed it; bustling and busy, and thronged 
with people of all ranks, of whom the largest 
proportion are always females ; for the women 
of Madrid spend much of their time in the 
streets, going and coming from mass, shopping 
(a never failing resource,) and going and coming 
from the Prado. But from one o'clock till four, 
tlie aspect of every thing is changed: the shops 
are either shut, or a curtain is drawn before the 
door ; the shutters of every window are closed ; 
scarcely a respectable person is seen in the 

SPAIN IN 18;50. 71 

street ; the stall-keepers spread cloths over 
their wares, and go to sleep ; groups of the 
poor and idle are seen stretched in the shade ; 
and the water-carriers, throwing their jackets 
over their faces, make pillows of their water 
casks. But the siesta over, all is again life and 
bustle; the curtains are withdrawn, the balconies 
are filled with ladies, the sleejDcrs shake off their 
drowsiness, and the water-carriers resume their 
vocation, and deafen us with the cry of aqua 
fresca. These water-carriers are a curious race, 
and are as necessary to the Spanish peasant as 
the vender of beer is to the English labourer : 
with a basket and glass in the right-hand, and 
a water jar on the left shoulder, they make in- 
cessant appeals to the appetite for cold water, 
and during the summer, drive a lucrative trade ; 
and so habituated is the Spaniard to the use of 
cold water, that I have observed little diminu- 
tion in the demand for it, when the morning 
temperature of the air was such as would have 
made even an Englishman shrink from so com- 
fortless a beverage. 

Frequently, while in Madrid, 1 walked out 
early in the morning, that I might hear the de- 
lightful music that accompanies the morning 

72 SPAIN IN 1830. 

service in the Convento de las Salesas ; and then 
the streets wore a different appearance, — flocks 
of goats were bevouacked here and there to 
supply milk to those who cannot afford to buy 
cows' milk. Porters, water-carriers, stall- 
keepers, and market people, were making a 
breakfast of grapes and bread ; and here and 
there a friar might be seen, with his sack slung 
over his back, begging supplies for his convent. 
One morning, I had the curiosity to follow a 
young friar of the Franciscan order the whole 
length of the Calk de Montera ; he asked up- 
wards of forty persons for alms, and entered 
every shop, and only two persons listened to his 
petition, — one of these was an old lame beggar, 
sitting at a door, who put half a quarto into his 
hand ; the other was an old gentleman with a 
cocked hat, and certain other insignia of holding 
some government employment. 

In my first perambulation of the streets of 
Madrid, I remarked, with astonishment, the 
extraordinary number of shops appropriated to 
the sale of combs. Throughout Spain, but 
especially in Madrid, the comb is an indispens- 
ible and important part of every woman's 
dress, and a never failing accompaniment of 

SPAIN IN 1830. 73 

the mantilla. A fashionable Spanish comb is 
not less than a foot long, and eight or nine 
inches broad ; and no woman considers from 
nine to fifteen dollars (from 2/. to 3/.) too much 
to give for this appendage ; accordingly, every 
tenth shop, at least, is a comb shop. Another 
very numerous class of shops appeared to belong 
to booksellers ; and a third — shops filled with 
remnants and shreds of cloth of all kinds and 
colours, which partly accounts for the patched 
appearance of the garments of the lowest orders, 
who doubtless find in these repositories the 
means of repairing their worn-out clothes. I 
had one day the curiosity to walk leisurely 
through two of the principal commercial streets, 
and to take a note of the different shops they 
contained. In the Calic de Carretas, I found 
sixteen booksellers, ten venders of combs, three 
jewellers, two hardware shops, two gold and 
silver embroiderers, two chocolate shops, two 
fan shops, six drapers and silk mercers, one 
woollen draper, one hatter, one perfumer, one 
fruiterer, one print shoj), one wine shop, and 
one stocking shop. In the Calk de Montcra, 
I found eight drapers and silk-mercers, eight 
jewellers, five hardware shops, four watch- 

74 SPAIN IN 1830. 

makers, three china and crystal shops, three 
grocers, five embroiderers, three booksellers, 
three perfumers, three pawnbrokers, three choco- 
late shops, two fan shops, four comb shops, four 
provision shops, two money changers, two ven- 
ders of ornaments for churches, two glove shops, 
two shoemakers, two gunsmiths, three venders 
of cocks and hens, and two of singing birds. 

Walking through the streets of Madrid, you 
are one moment arrested by a pleasant smell, 
and the next stunned by a bad one ; among 
the former, is the fragrant perfume from the 
cinnamon to be mixed with the chocolate : at 
the door of every chocolate shop, a person is to 
be seen beating cinnamon in a large mortar. 
Another pleasant smell arises from the heaps of 
melons that lie on the streets. This custom, 
by-the-by, of heaping fruit on the street, re- 
quires that one unaccustomed to the streets of 
Madrid should look well to his feet, — melons, 
oranges, apples, and many other kinds of fruit, 
lie every where in the way of the passenger, 
who is in constant dangerof being toppled over. 
Among the bad smells that assail one, the most 
common, and to me the most offensive, is the 
smell of oil in preparation for cooking. The 

SPAIN IN 1830. 75 

Spanish oil is unpleasant both to the taste and 
smell ; but I have heard well-informed persons 
say that the fault does not lie in the oil, but in 
the manner of expressing it ; this may proba- 
bly be true, — the oil of Catalunia is as unpleas- 
ant as that of Andalusia, and yet the olives of 
Catalunia grow in a latitude little different from 
the most southerly parts of France, from which 
the most excellent oil is produced. As I have 
mentioned offensive smells, let me not omit 
one offensive sight, — I allude to the constant 
practice of combing and cleaning the hair in the 
street : in most of the less frequented streets, 
persons are seen at every second or third door 
intent upon this employment; and sometimes 
the occupation includes a scrutiny, at the nature 
of which the reader must be contented to guess ; 
and even in the most frequented streets, if two 
women be seated at fruit-stalls near each other, 
one is generally engaged in combing, assorting, 
and occasionally scrutinizing the hair of the 
other. Sights like these neutralize, in some 
degree, the enjoyment which a stranger might 
otherwise find in the delicious flavour of Mus- 
catel grapes. 

I was prepared to find much more wretched- 

76 SPAIN IN 1830. 

ness and poverty among the lower orders in 
Madrid, than is apparent — I might perhaps say, 
than exists there. There is much misery in 
Madrid, but it lies among a different class, of 
whom I shall have occasion to speak after- 
wards : at present, I speak merely of the lowest 
class of the inhabitants, among whom, in every 
great city, there is always a certain proportion 
of miserably poor. I purposely walked several 
times into the lowest quarters of the city, but I 
never encountered any such pictures of poverty 
and wretchedness as are to be found abundantly 
in Paris, London, Dublin, Manchester, and 
other great towns of France and England. 
When the king arrived in Madrid from La 
Granja, there were at least 10,000 persons 
present at his entree ; and upon the occasion of the 
queen's accouchement, there were three times 
that number in the court of the palace ; and yet 
I did not see a single person in rags — scarcely 
even a beggar. It is possible, however, that 
a cloak may conceal much wretchedness ; and 
of this I had one day an example. Sauntering 
one morning in the retired part of the Prado, in 
front of the botanical garden, I sat down upon 
the low wall that supports the iron railing : a 

SPAIN IN 1830. 77 

man, with a decent cloak wrapped around him, 
sat a few paces distant, seemingly in a reverie ; 
he happened to have taken his seat upon some 
prohibited place, and one of the guards, un- 
perceived by him, walked forward, and tapped 
him on the shoulder with his musket : whether 
the sudden start which this intrusion occa- 
sioned had unfastened the cloak, or whether he 
had accidentally let go his hold of it, is of 
no consequence ; but the cloak dropped half off 
his body, and I discovered that it was his only 
garment, excepting his neckcloth : the man was 
no beggar ; he hastily replaced the cloak, and 
walked away. He was probably one of that 
class who, in Madrid, sacrifice all to the ex- 
terior ; or, possibly, one of those very few Cas- 
tilians, who yet inherit old Castilian pride, and 
who would die rather than ask an alms. 

But it is not difficult to assign plausible 
reasons for the fact, that the utterly destitute 
form but a very trifling proportion of the in- 
habitants of Madrid. Madrid lives by the 
court ; it is said that the employees, including all 
grades, and the military, form one fourth part of 
the whole inhabitants. The professional per- 
sons, especially those connected with the law. 

78 SPAIN IN 1830. 

form a large body ; the friars and priests, a still 
larger. In Madrid, too, are assembled the 
greater number of the nobles and rich pro- 
prietors ; so that more than one half of the 
inhabitants live upon their salaries and rents. 
We have then to consider the great number 
of tradespeople, artificers, and shopkeepers re- 
quired to supply the wants of the former classes ; 
add to these, the common labourers, servants, 
market people, itinerant venders, porters, water 
carriers, fruiterers, and the seminaries, hos- 
pitals, and prisons ; and if, as is said to be the 
case, the employees, the military, the profes- 
sional men, and all their families, together with 
priests and friars, amount to 80,000 persons, we 
may easily account for the other 80,000, without 
the necessity of filling up a blank with the 
utterly destitute. Indeed, the lowest orders in 
Madrid, are the water-carriers and fruiterers ; 
and these are not a fixed population ; many 
belong to the neighbouring villages, and to the 
fruit countries bordering on the Tagus ; and in 
the winter months, these leave the capital. There 
is always a resource for the most destitute in 
Madrid, in the trade of a water-carrier : he 
weaves a little basket of rushes ; pays a couple 


SPAIN IN 18.30. 79 

of reals for a couple of glasses, and he is at once 
equipped as a vender of aqua fresca. Madrid 
has no manufacture, so that labour is not at- 
tracted to the capital, to be afterwards subject 
to the vicissitudes of trade ; nor is there any 
spirit of enterprise, whose caprices demand a 
constant supply of superabundant labour. These 
may, or may not, be deemed sufficient reasons 
for the fact I have wished to account for, — the 
reader may probably be able to add others. The 
fact, however, is certain, that in no city of 
Europe ranking with Madrid, is there so little 
apparent wretchedness. 

There is less appearance of business in the 
streets of Madrid, than in any city I have ever 
seen: the population seem to have turned out 
to enjoy themselves. Two things contribute 
mainly to give that air of ease and pleasure to 
the pursuits of the inhabitants of Madrid ; the 
great proportion of women of whom the street- 
population is composed, — and the extreme 
slowness of movement. The women of Madrid 
have nothing to detain them at home ; the 
ladies have no home occupations as in London ; 
nor have the majority of the bourgeoises any shop 
duties to perform as in Paris, — the street is, 

80 SPAIN IN 1830. 

therefore, their only resource from ennui. And 
there is something in extreme slowness of 
motion, that is entirely opposed to business and 
duties, — a quick step, and a necessary one, are 
closely allied ; but the street population of 
Madrid, with few exceptions, merely saunter; 
and wherever you reach an open space, especially 
the Puerta del Sol, — a small square in the centre 
of the city, — hundreds of gentlemen are seen 
standing, with no other occupation than shaking 
the dust from their segars. The great numbers of 
military too, strolling arm in arm, and, above all, 
the innumerable priests and monks, with whom 
we at once connect idleness and ease, give to the 
street population of Madrid an appearance of 
pleasure seeking, which is peculiar to itself, 
and is perhaps little removed from truth. 

On Sunday, Madrid presents the same aspect 
as on other days, with this difterence, that the 
shops and the streets are more crowded ; and 
that the lower classes, and the bourgeoises, are 
better attired. On Sunday evening, the houses 
are deserted ; the whole population of Madrid 
pours down the Calle de Alcala, to the Prado. 
Every Sunday afternoon, from four o'clock until 
six or seven, this street, nearly a mile in length, 

SPAIN IN 1830. 81 

and, at least, twice as broad as Portland Place, 
is crowded from end to end, and from wall to 
wall, so that a carriage finds some difficulty in 
making its way. Among this crowd, I have 
often looked in vain, to find an ill-dressed per- 
son ; but this exterior is no real index to the 
condition of those who throng the Prado. I 
have reason to know, that hundreds, who by 
their dress might pass for courtiers, have dined 
upon bread and a bunch of grapes, and go from 
the Paseo to hide themselves in a garret ; and 
females have been pointed out to me, whose 
mantilla, comb, and fan could not have cost 
less than 10/., who were starving upon a pen- 
sion of 2,500 reals (25/.). 

As I have mentioned the Calle de Alcala, let 
me speak of this street as it deserves to be 
spoken of. I know of no finer entry to any city ; 
I might perhaps say, no one so fine, as that to 
Madrid by the Calle de Alcala. Standing at the 
foot of this street, you have on the right and left 
the long, wide Prado, with its quadruple row of 
trees stretching in fine perspective to the gates 
that terminate it; behind is the magnificent gate 
of Alcala, a fine model of architectural beauty; 
and before lies the Calle de Alcala, reaching into 

VOL. I. G 

82 SPAIN IN 1830. 

the heart of the city, — long, of superb width, 
and flanked by a splendid range of unequal 
buildings, — among others the hotels of many of 
the ambassadors ; the two fine convents of Las 
Calatravas, and Las Ballecas, and the Custom- 
house. But theCalle de Alcala is the only really 
fine street in Madrid ; many of the other streets 
are good, and very many respectable, of toler- 
able width, and the houses lofty and well built; 
but there is no magnificent street, excepting the 
Calle de Alcala. Like all the other cities in Spain, 
the streets, abstracted from the population, have 
a sombre aspect, owing to the number of con- 
vents, whose long reach of wall, grated windows, 
and lack of doors, throw a chill over the mind of 
the passer by. There are no fewer than sixty- 
two convents for men and women in Madrid; 
and it frequently happens that one side of a 
whole street is occupied by a convent : in the 
Calle de Atocha there are no fewer than eight 
convents ; and some of the streets on the out- 
skirts, contain scarcely any houses, but those 
dedicated to religion. 

Walking one day in company with a priest, 
— a very intelligent and learned man, of whose 
society I was always glad, — I chanced to observe 
the inscription upon the corner of one of the 



SPAIN IN 1830. 83 

streets, and read Calle de la luquisicion ; my 
curiosity was immediately awakened ; I had 
intended before leaving Madrid, to have sought 
out the spot memorable from the atrocities with 
which it is connected ; and this accidental ren- 
contre saved me the trouble of a search. I im- 
mediately expressed my anxiety to see the 
building, and to enter it if possible ; and 
requested my companion to have the goodness 
to be my Cicerone ; but I found that the terrors 
of the Inquisition had outlived its power ; my 
companion assured me there was nothing to see ; 
the building he believed was shut up, and no 
one could enter ; indeed he doubted if he per- 
fectly knew where the building was situated. I 
saw the difficulty of the priest ; there might' be 
danger in guiding a heretic to the precincts of 
the holy office ; and so, requesting him to wait 
for me, I went in search of the building. I had 
no difficulty in finding it, but there was little to 
reward my search ; it was the building in 
which prisoners were confined, but not that in 
which they were judged and tortured. This 
was in an immediately adjoining street, formerly 
called the street of the Grand Inquisitor, whose 
house, including all the offices of the court, fills 

c; 2 

84 SPAIN IN 1830. 

almost one side of the street. It seems at first 
sight surprising, that the Inquisition, like the 
Bastile, was not torn down during the time of 
the Constitution ; but the prime movers, and 
even the instruments in that revolution, were 
of the upper ranks ; and it is a certain fact, 
that many among the Pueblo Bajo look even now 
without any horror, some with veneration, upon 
the building once dedicated to the maintenance 
of the Roman Catholic faith. The building- 
used as the prison of the Inquisition, was con- 
structed above immense vaults, originally formed 
by the Moors ; and afterwards converted into 
dungeons. I requested permission to visit them, 
but I was told that the air in the dungeons was 
such as to render a visit to them unsafe. 

From the prisons I went to the other branch 
of the Inquisition in the adjoining street. A 
part of the house of the Grand Inquisitor is in a 
dilapidated state, but other parts are inhabited 
by private individuals. The porter, notwith- 
standing a liberal bribe, made much difficulty 
in allowing me to enter, but I at last prevailed 
with him, and he conducted me to the room 
formerly used as the hall of justice, or rather of 
judgment; and although I saw nothing but a 

SPAIN IN 1830. 85 

long gloomy room without one article of fur- 
niture, it required but little exercise of imagina- 
tion to see, in fancy, the Inquisitors and their 
satellites, the trembling accused, and the instru- 
ments of torture. It appears incredible, that 
any others than those to whom its existence 
would bring power or wealth, should desire the 
re-establishment of the Inquisition; and yet, I 
feel myself justified in believing, that many 
would look upon its restoration with com- 
placency; and that the great majority of the 
lower orders would behold this with perfect 
indifference. If so, they deserve to be cursed 
with it. 

The dirtiness and want of comfort in the Cniz 
de Malta, would have driven me into private 
lodgings, even if the charges in the hotel had 
been supportable ; I hastened therefore to de- 
liver my letters, that I might be aided in my 
search by those to whom I carried recommenda- 
tions ; and by the kind assistance of Sr. Mozo, 
one of the Consejeros del Rey, I was soon es- 
tablished in comfortable apartments in the Calk 
de la Madalena. It may be interesting to some, 
to know the nature and price of private accom- 
modation in Madrid. My apartments were on 

86 SPAIN IN 1830. 

the second floor, (in Madrid every floor is a 
separate house, excepting among the very 
highest ranks) and consisted of one very large 
room, 40 feet long, by 22 broad, with tw^o very 
large windows facing the street ; a small bed- 
room, separated from this large room by a glass 
door; and another small room, beyond the bed- 
room, to be employed as an eating room. These 
rooms were brick-floored, as every room is, in 
the northern and central parts of Spain ; and 
the walls white-washed. The apartments were 
furnished with basket-chairs and sofas, a bed, 
and two or three tables ; and for this accommo- 
dation, including service and cooking, I paid 
20 reals per day, or 1/. 9^. 2d. per week. This 
was certainly not remarkably cheap ; but the 
situation was good, and the rooms were clean 
and airy. 

Being thus established in lodgings, my first 
duty was to find the hotel of the British minis- 
ter, and to present to him my letter of intro- 
duction from Lord Aberdeen ; and I gladly 
avail myself of this opportunity to express my 
obligations to Henry Unwin Addington, Esq. ; 
not only for his uniform kindness and attention 
while we remained in Madrid, and for the often 


SPAIN IN 1830. 87 

repeated hospitalities of his house ; but for his 
readiness to assist me in whatever way the 
representative of the British Government could 
make his interest available in forwarding my 
objects. For some lesser favours, I am also 
Mr. Addington's debtor ; among others, the 
privilege of perusing the English newspapers, 
no small privilege in a country where the only 
journal is the Gaceta de Madrid. Walking one 
day towards my lodgings, with a file oi Courier's 
in my hand, I noticed that I was followed, and 
narrowly scrutinized by some persons in au- 
thority ; but they, no doubt, became informed 
where I procured this forbidden fruit, and I 
never suffered any farther interruption. 

The day after my arrival in Madrid was Sun- 
day, and having finished my puchero, and 
drank a reasonable quantity of Val de Penas, 
I prepared to join the tide that was slowly 
rolling towards the Prado. 

Every Spaniard is proud of the Prado at 
Madrid ; and but for the Prado, the inhabitants 
of Madrid would look upon life as a thing of 
very little value ; every body goes every night 
to the Prado ; every body — man, woman, and 
child— looks forward to the evening promenade 

88 SPAIN IN 1830. 

with pleasure and impatience ; every body asks 
every body the same question, shall you be on 
the Paseo to night ? how did you like the Paseo 
last night ? every night, at the same hour, the 
dragoons take their place along the Prado, to 
regulate the order and line of carriages : and 
the only difference between Sunday night and 
any other night on the Prado is, that on Sun- 
day it is frequented by those who can afford 
to dress only once a week, as well as by those 
who can dress every day. It was impossible 
that I could permit the first Sunday to pass 
away without seeing the Prado; accordingly, 
accompanied by a colonel in the Spanish ser- 
vice, whose name, for certain reasons, I refrain 
from mentioning, I took the road to the Prado. 

The Prado, divested of its living attraction, 
is certainly not entitled to the extravagant 
praises bestowed upon it by the Spaniards : 
it is a fine spacious paseo, at least two miles 
long, and from 200 to 300 yards broad, adorned 
with rows of trees, and with several fountains ; 
the frequented part, however, is not more than 
half a mile in length, and has scarcely any 
shade. But the Prado, although in itself not 
possessing the natural attractions of that of 

SPAIN IN 1830. 89 

Vienna, or perhaps of some others, is an admir- 
able resort for a stranger who is desirous of 
seeing the population of Madrid. When I 
reached it, it seemed already crowded, though 
a dense stream of population was still pouring 
into it from the Calk de Alcala. On the part 
appropriated to carriages, there was already a 
double row of vehicles, bespeaking, by their 
slow motion, the stateliness of character said to 
belong to the Spanish aristocracy. The turn-out 
of carriages presented a strange melange of ele- 
gance and shabbiness ; some few were as hand- 
some as can be seen in Hyde Park ; some — truly 
Spanish, — were entirely covered over with gild- 
ing and painting ; many were like worn-out post 
chaises ; and several like the old family pieces 
that are yet sometimes to be seen at the church 
door on Sunday, in some remote parishes in 
England. I observed the most ludicrous in- 
congruity between the carriages and the ser- 
vants ; many a respectable, and even handsome 
carriage might be seen with a servant behind, 
like some street vagabond who, seeing a vacant 
place, had mounted for the sake of a drive. I 
actually saw a tolerably neat carriage driven 
by a coachman without stockings ; and another 

90 SPAIN IN 1830. 

with a rheumatic lacquey behind, whose head 
was enveloped in flannel. But let me turn to 
the pedestrians. 

The Paseo was crowded from end to end, and 
from side to side ; so crowded, indeed, that by 
mixing with the tide, it was impossible to see 
more than one's next neighbour ; and that I 
might better observe the elements of the crowd, 
I contrived, with some difficulty, to extricate 
myself from the stream, and get into the car- 
riage drive. Before visiting Spain, I had heard 
much of the beauty of Spanish women, — their 
graceful figures, — their bewitching eyes, — their 
fascinating expression, — in short, their personal 
attractions. Whether owing to the representations 
of travellers, or the unreal descriptions of poets, 
or the romance with which, in the minds of 
many, every thing in Spain is invested, — it is 
certain, that a belief in the witchery of Spanish 
women obtains very general credence in Eng- 
land. With curiosity, therefore, considerably 
excited, I took up a station to decide upon the 
claims of the ladies of Spain. In my expecta- 
tions of beauty I was miserably disappointed ; 
beauty of features I saw none. Neither at that 
time, nor at any subsequent visit to the Prado, 

SPAIN IN 1830. 91 

did I ever see one strikingly lovely countenance ; 

and the class so well known in England, because 

so numerous, denominated " pretty girls," has no 

existence in Spain. The women were, without 

exception, dark, — but the darkness of the clear 

brunette, is darkness of a very different kind 

from that of the Castilian. I saw no fine skin, 

no glossy hair : dark expressive eyes I certainly 

did see, but they were generally too ill supported 

to produce much effect. But let me do justice 

to the grace of the Spanish women. No other 

woman knows how to walk, — the elegant, light, 

and yet firm step of the small and well attired 

foot and ancle, — the graceful bearing of the 

head and neck, — the elegant disposition of the 

arms, never to be seen hanging downward, but 

one hand holding the folds of the mantilla, just 

below the waist ; the other inclining upward, 

wielding, with an effect the most miraculous, 

that mysterious instrument, the fan, — these are 

the charms of the Spanish women. As for 

the fan, its powers are no where seen displayed 

to such advantage as on the Prado. I believe 

I shall never be able to look at a fan in the 

hands of any other tlian a Spanish woman, — 

certainly no other woman understands the 

92 SPAIN IN 1830. 

management of it. In her hands it is never one 
moment at rest, — she throws it open, fans her- 
self, furls it to the right, — opens it again, again 
fans herself, and furls it to the left, and all with 
three fingers of one hand. This is absolutely 
marvellous to one who has been accustomed to 
see a fan opened with both hands, and furled 
only on one side. But that I may at once 
exhaust the subject of fans, let me add, that in 
the hands of its true mistress, the fan becomes 
a substitute for language, and an interpreter of 
etiquette. If a lady perceives that she is an 
object of attention to some inquisitive and 
admiring caballero, she has immediate recourse 
to her fan, that she may convey to him one most 
important piece of information. If she be 
married, she fans herself slowly ; if still seiio- 
rita, rapidly. The caballero, therefore, at once 
ascertains his chances and his risks. This fact 
I obtained from a Spanish lady of rank in 
Madrid, the wife of a gentleman in a high offi- 
cial situation. The motion of the fan too, 
marks distinctly, and with the utmost nicety, 
the degree of intimacy that subsists between one 
lady and another. The shake of the fan is the 
universal acknowledgment of acquaintance; and 

SPAIN IN 1830. 93 

according as the fan is open or shut, the inti- 
macy is great or small. These are trifling things, 
yet they are worth telling. But let me return 
to the Prado, where, having decided upon the 
claims of the Castilian ladies, I had leisure to 
observe its other novelties. Here I saw little 
of the sombreness I had remarked on the streets, 
for many of the ladies wore white mantillas ; 
and in the evening, coloured rather than black 
gowns are the mode. The very great number, 
too, of officers of the guards, with their high 
cocked hats, and coats entirely covered with 
silver lace, gave additional animation to the 
scene., Other pictures of a different kind the 
eye occasionally caught, — here and there a 
portly priest, with his ample gown and great 
slouched hat, mingling in the throng, and evi- 
dently enjoying the scene and its gaiety, — - 
aloof from the crowd, and in the most retired 
walks, with hurried step and downcast head, a 
friar, in his grey, brown or white cassock, — 
now and then a tall Andalusian peasant, with 
his tapering hat, his velvet and silver embroi- 
dered jacket and crimson sash, his unbuttoned 
gaiters and white stockings, — the Asturian 
nurse, with her short brown jerkin, petticoat of 


SPAIN IN 1830. 

blue and yellow, trimmed with gold, and bare 
head. It is always a mark of a woman's con- 
sequence in Madrid to hire an Asturian nurse ; 
they are supposed to be models of health and 
strength, and certainly if breadth of figure be 
the criterion of these, the ladies of Madrid 
make a prudent choice : I never saw such 
women as the women of the Asturias. In 
France, where the women are generally mmce, 
one of them might be exhibited as a curiosity. 

There is one very unpleasant thing connected 
with a promenade on the Prado, whether in a 
carriage or on foot; this is the necessity of pay- 
ing honour to every branch of the royal family, 
however frequently they may pass along. Every 
carriage must stop, and those within must take 
off their hats, or if the carriage be open stand up 
also ; and every person on foot is expected to 
suspend his walk, face-about, and bow, with 
his head uncovered. When the king passes, no 
one perhaps feels this to be a grievance ; because, 
however little respect the king may in reality 
be entitled to from his subjects, it is felt to 
be nothing more than an act of common good 
breeding to take off one's hat to a king ; but I 
have fifty times seen all this homage paid to a 

SPAIN IN 1830. 95 

royal carriage with a nurse and an infant — not 
an infanta — in it ; and one evening I was abso- 
lutely driven from the Prado by the unceasing 
trouble of being obliged to acknowledge the 
royal presence every few minutes, the spouse 
of the Infante Don Francis having found amuse- 
ment in cantering backward and forward during 
an hour at least. From the expected homage, no 
one is exempt : even the foreign ambassadors 
must draw up, rise, and uncover themselves, if 
but a sprig of royalty in the remotest degree, 
and of the tenderest age, happens to drive past. 
Both the British and the American Minister 
told me, that for that reason they never went to 
the Prado. 

The promenade continues long after dark ; 
and on fine moonlight nights in the month of 
September, 1 have seen it continued without 
any diminution in the crowd until after ten 
o'clock ; generally, however, when dusk begins 
to usher in darkness, and when the great object 
of going to the Prado is accomplished, — seeing 
and being seen — the crowd thins, and there is 
soon no remnant of it visible, excepting pairs, 
or single individuals, here and there, who have 
their reasons for remaining. In Madrid, — indeed 

96 SPAIN IN 1830. 

throughout all Spain, nobody walks for pleasure; 
at all events no woman : and this fact is I think 
sufficient to account for the superiority of the 
Spanish women in the art of walking, without 
making it necessary for us to suppose any defi- 
ciency in elegance of limb or symmetry of form 
among the women of other countries. An En- 
glishwoman walks for health : she puts on her 
bonnet, and a pair of strong shoes, and a shawl, 
and walks into the country ; and the nature of 
the climate creates a necessity for walking fast ; 
there is no one to look at her, and she thinks of 
nothing so little as her manner of walking : but 
a Spanish woman never walks for health or 
exercise ; she never goes out but to go to the 
Paseo, and never without having paid the most 
scrupulous attention to her toilette. On the 
Paseo, she studies every step, because the 
object of going there is to be seen and admired, 
and the nature of the climate, obliges her to 
walk slow. 

My evening walk in Madrid was more fre- 
quently to the Retiro than to the Prado ; this is 
a vast and ill-laid out garden and shrubbery, 
three or four miles in circumference, situated 
upon an elevation behind the Prado, the en- 

SPAIN IN 18.30. 97 

trance to which is by the court of the old palace, 
which was destroyed during the war. The 
Retiro possesses no particular attraction, ex- 
cepting its fresh air, and freedom from dust. 
There are some elevations in this garden, from 
which an extensive prospect is enjoyed ; but it 
embraces little that is interesting, excepting the 
city, and the skies — an object of no small interest 
to one accustomed to the dense atmosphere and 
cloudy heavens of a northern latitude. During 
the several months that I remained in Madrid, 
I scarcely ever saw a cloud ; and I frequently 
walked to the Retiro for the sole purpose of 
looking at the glorious sky, and the gorgeous 
sun-set: such skies are glorious, even when 
they canopy a desert. From the Retiro, the eye 
ranges over nothing but a desert, bounded on 
one side by the Sierra Guadarama, on the other 
by the Toledo mountains; and Madrid, standing- 
alone in the midst of this treeless and lifeless 
plain, seemed, when the setting sun flamed 
upon its domes and spires, to have been placed 
there by enchantment. 

Returning from the Prado, or the Retiro, 1 
frequently stepped into the Cafe de Santa Cala- 
lina, the most brilliant place of the kind in 

VOL. I. H 

98 SPAIN IN 1830. 

Madrid, and generally resorted to after the 
promenade, by many of the most distinguished 
persons. I greatly prefer this cafe to any in 
Paris ; to any, indeed, that I have seen else- 
where. You pass through a magnificent and 
brilliantly illuminated room, where those who 
love the light are assembled, into an open 
court, — open to the skies above, but surrounded 
by the backs of lofty buildings ; a covered 
arcade runs round the court, dimly lighted by 
suspended lamps, to meet the taste of those 
who desire a certain quantity of light and no 
more. But this light scarcely reaches the 
centre of the court, which is illuminated only 
by the stars; and here, as well as under the 
arcade, tables and chairs are placed for those 
who are indifferent about light. All sorts of 
refreshments suited to a warm climate, are to 
be found in this cafe ; and rows of sweet smell- 
ing flowers in pots, add to the luxury of the 
place. It may easily be believed, that the Caf^ 
Catalina is celebrated on other accounts than for 
the excellence of the refreshments which it fur- 
nishes. In the illuminated room, all is mirth 
and gaiety : the ladies, escaped from the mono- 
tony, and proprieties, and etiquette of the 

SPAIN IN 1830. 99 

Prado, give way to their natural liveliness and 
wit; and accept, with smiling looks of conscious 
merit, and with quick flutterings of the fan, the 
proffered courtesies and gallantry of the cabal - 
leros who escort them. In the court, the scene 
is different : within the arcade, quieter parties 
are seated, enjoying a sort of half-seclusion; 
while, throughout the centre, are scattered, pairs 
in conversation ; and the light of a lamp, as it 
occasionally flashes upon their privacy, — reveal- 
ing a sparkling eye, and the flutter of a fan, — 
interprets its nature. The use of the tokdo or 
the bravo, to avenge private wrongs among the 
upper ranks, is now comparatively unknown in 
Spain ; else I should often have run some risk, 
by strolling leisurely through the centre of the 
Caf(6 Catalina, that I might get some insight 
into the state of Castilian morals. 

There is a great paucity of caf(6s in Madrid; 
excepting the Cafe de Santa Catalina, and an- 
other, the name of which I forget, in the neigh- 
bourhood of the Prado, there is only the Fon- 
tana de Oro in the Calk de San Geronimo. But it 
is not likely that there should be many coffee- 
houses in a country where there are no news- 

n 2 

100 SPAIN IN 1830. 

papers. Both in France and in England, the 
majority of persons who frequent coffee-houses, 
go to read the newspapers ; but in Spain, no 
one enters a coffee-room except to sip iced 
water. During the forenoon, indeed, the doors 
of the caf<6s, excepting the Fontana de Oro, are 
generally shut, and nobody is within. An 
Englishman, or a Frenchman, who is accus- 
tomed to connect with a coffee-room, — half-a- 
dozen public journals, — organs of intelligence 
and public opinion, upon subjects connected 
with his political rights, and with the state of 
his country, — is instantly reminded on entering 
a Spanish coffee-room, of the degraded political 
condition of the country he is in : and the dif- 
ference between the enjoyment and the want of 
political rights, is forcibly thrust upon him. He 
takes up the Gaceta de Madrid, and finds there 
a royal ordinance, breathing vengeance against 
those who desire to be restored to their homes 
and their country ; and whose prayers are for its 
happiness. He turns over the leaf, and he finds 
another ordinance, declaring that the universi- 
ties shall be closed, and education suspended, 
during his Majesty's pleasure ; and he then 
looks for the comment upon these facts : but 

SPAIN IN 1830. 101 

he looks ill vain. He sees that his Majesty 
and the royal family enjoy good health ; that 
the king has appointed a bishop to one cathe- 
dral ; and that the bishop has named a canon 
to another ; and that the procession of St. Rosalia 
will issue from the convent of St. Thomas, pre- 
cisely at four o'clock next day ; but he sees not 
a syllable about the ordinances that deal out 
injustice, or strangle improvement; and he says 
within himself, this is the most wonderful 
country under the sun; for here, intellect wields 
no power. 

Before dismissing the Paseos of Madrid, I 
must notice the Botanical Garden ; not much 
used as a Paseo, but certainly the most charming 
of them all. While I remained in Madrid, 
waiting until the heats had so far subsided as 
to allow me to journey into Andalusia, I gene- 
rally walked there during an hour or two after 
breakfast, having access to it at all times, 
through the interest of a friend. The garden 
is very extensive; the trees are full-grown; and 
there is a charming variety of rare and beau- 
tiful plants. The garden, although not by any 
means neglected, is not in such ])erfect order, 
or under such excellent manauemcnt as it was 

102 SPAIN IN 1830. 

during the time of the constitution : it was 
then under the direction of *S*'^" La Gasca, 
Professor of Botany, and a Member of the 
Cortes; now a resident in England, where I be- 
lieve his learning is appreciated as it deserves. 
There is a curious and very unmeaning regu- 
lation, connected with the entree of this garden. 
Every lady, on entering, must throw aside her 
mantilla, and walk with the head uncovered ; 
she is not even allowed to drop it upon her 
neck ; it must be carried upon the arm. This 
regulation is almost an order of exclusion to 
a Spanish woman, who considers the proper 
arrangement of the mantilla no trifling or easy 
matter, and not to be accomplished without 
the aid of a mirror ; it is rarely, therefore, that 
a Spanish woman subjects herself to a regu- 
lation by which she runs the risk of after- 
wards appearing on the Paseo with her mantilla 

The only occasion upon which a Spaniard 
absents himself from the Paseo, is when he goes 
to the theatre. The inhabitants of Madrid are 
a theatre-going population; but their propensi- 
ties that way are sadly cramped for want of 
room ; if, however, the theatre now erecting 

SPAIN IN 1830. 103 

in the neighbourhood of the palace be ever 
finished — a point certainly doubtful, since the 
palace itself makes no progress towards com- 
pletion — half Madrid will find accommodation 
in it, and have the honour of being seated in 
the largest theatre in Europe. I should pro- 
bably not have visited the theatre so soon, if 
the road from my lodgings to the Calle de Alcala 
had not led me daily past the theatre, where I 
generally stopped a moment to read " the bills 
of the play." These, as in the olden times in 
England, set forth the merits of the play, — 
narrate a few of the principal events, — tell how, 
in one act, there is a most witty dialogue, — 
and how, in another, there is a scene which 
must delight every body; and conclude with 
some eulogy upon the genius of the writer. 
The first visit I made to the theatre was to wit- 
ness the representation of a comedy by Solisy to 
be acted in the Teatro del Principe. I walked in 
and took my seat without any one asking for 
my ticket, which is not demanded until the 
play is nearly concluded ; so that a lover of the 
theatre, who might be scarce of money, might 
gratify his appetite for nothing. 

The Teatro del Principe is miserably small for 

104 SPAIN IN 1830. 

a metropolitan theatre : it will contain no more 
than 1500 persons ; but it is light and pretty, 
painted in white and gold, and round the ceiling 
are the busts of the principal Spanish poets, dra- 
matists and novelists, their names being inscribed 
under each. The six in front are no doubt 
intended to occupy the most honourable places : 
they are Calderon, Lopez de Vega, Cervantes, 
Garcilaso, Ercillo, and Tirso. Calderon and 
Lopez are placed in the front, w^here I think 
Cervantes ought to have been. The house was 
well filled ; the ladies generally wore mantil- 
las, but some were in full dress; and a few had 
ventured upon French hats. There is one pe- 
culiarity in the Spanish theatres, which seems 
at first sight, inconsistent with the state of 
society and manners. Excepting the private 
boxes, there is scarcely any place to which a 
lady and a gentleman can go in company. In 
Madrid the only places of this description will 
not contain thirty persons ; but, on the other 
hand, an ample provision is made for ladies. 
The greater part of the space occupied by the 
first tier of boxes in the English theatres, is 
thrown into one space, called the cazuela; and 
here, ladies, and only ladies, have the right of 

SPAIN IN 1830. 105 

entree. The most respectable women go to the 
cazuela, and sit there unattended; nor is this 
arrangement unfavourable to intrigue. The 
entree to the cazuela secures the entree of the 
whole house ; and between the acts the cazuela 
is almost deserted, some having gone to visit 
persons in the boxes, but the greater number 
getting no farther than the lobby, where it is 
not unusual to meet a friend ; and when 
the comedy ends, every lady finds an escort 
ready. It is a fact too, that if the cazuela be 
crowded during the first act, there is generally 
room enough during the second, and more than 
enough during the third. This needs no expla- 

I saw only one really beautiful countenance 
in the theatre ; but there were some expressive 
faces, and inexpressibly fine eyes, almost 
worthy of a serenade. Here, the fan seemed a 
most indispensible companion ; for besides its 
common uses, it exercised the powers of a 
critic, expressing approbation or dislike ; and 
between the acts, it proved itself a powerful 
auxiliary to the language of the eyes. 

The play, like most of the Spanish comedies, 
was a piece of intrigue, plot within plot, and 

106 SPAIN IN 1830. 

abounding in strange situations, and innumer- 
able perplexities and difficulties, scarcely to be 
comprehended by a spectator unless possessing 
a previous knowledge of the piece ; and to be 
thoroughly enjoyed by a Spaniard only. The 
acting was spirited, the dresses characteristic, 
and the orchestra not contemptible ; and the 
satisfaction of the audience was shewn in im- 
moderate bursts of laughter. 

The play being ended, the next part of the 
entertainment consisted in the Bolero. This is 
danced by two persons ; the man, in the dress 
of an Andalusian peasant — for to Andalusia the 
dance properly belongs— with dark embroidered 
jacket, short white embroidered waistcoat, crim- 
son sash, white tight small clothes, white 
stockings, and the hair in a black silk knot ; 
his partner in a gaudy dress of red, embroi- 
dered with gold. These are nothing more than 
the usual holiday-dresses of the Andalusian 
peasantry. The dance itself, is a quick minuet ; 
advancing, retiring, and turning; the feet all 
the time performing a step, and the hands 
occupied with the castanets. I had heard much 
of the indelicacy of the Bolero, but I could find 
nothing in it in the slightest degree indecorous. 

SPAIN IN 1830, 107 

The dance is long, at least it is often repeated ; 
three or four times the dancing ceases, the 
music continuing, and the dancers standing 
opposite to each other ; and after a short interval, 
the entertainment is resumed. 

At this theatre, and at the Teatro de la Cruz, 
Italian operas are performed twice a week ; 
sometimes at the one theatre, and sometimes at 
the other ; a very bad arrangement, because it 
forces the lover of Italian music to have a box 
in both houses ; and after all, one is apt to 
make a mistake as to the house in which the 
opera is performed. The Italian opera is a 
losing concern in Madrid ; the prices are too 
low, and the house is not large enough to ensure 
a return. The star, when I was in Madrid, was 
a Signora To-si, who received no less than 1 ,200/. 
sterling to perform three nights a week for five 
months. This Signora Tossi was a remarkable 
favourite in Madrid ; she performed in an opera 
which had been written expressly for her; and 
when this opera was announced, the house 
would have been filled even if it had been three 
times larger. Nothing could gain admittance 
but bribery ; if one inquired for a ticket, the 
answer invariably was, that all were sold : but 

108 SPAIN IN 1830. 

if one chose to add, '* I would give a handsome 
gratuity for a ticket," a ticket was produced, 
and an additional dollar given for it. Upon this 
occasion the corregidor of Madrid pocketed as 
many as 40 or 50 dollars a day by trafficking in 
tickets ; he bought 40 or 50 tickets before the 
theatre opened, and sold them during the day 
at different prices, according to the demand. 
So great was the rage for the opera, and so 
great the dearth of tickets, that the most dis- 
graceful means were resorted to in order to gain 
admittance : one evening I myself saw two per- 
sons detected with forged tickets. The excel- 
lence of the Opera of Madrid last season, almost 
excused the madness, — not the meanness of the 
public. Tossi, I thought a great singer : she 
resembles Catalini more nearly than any one I 
have ever heard ; but she possesses more sweet- 
ness and melody of tone ; and is a better actress, 
and a finer woman than Catalini ever was. The 
other vocal parts were well supported, and the 
orchestra, with a hint and a rebuke now and then 
from Tossi, acquitted itself well. The prices of 
the theatres in Madrid are as moderate as the 
poorest amateur could desire; the best places in 
the house are to be had for 2s. Qd., and very 

SPAIN IN 1830. 109 

excellent seats cost but Is. 3(1. ; the public 
benches in the pit are only 10^/. 

The existence of a good Italian opera in 
Madrid, and the easy access to it, have no doubt 
had some eifect in fostering a taste for music, 
especially Italian music. Spain, with all its 
sins, has not to answer for the sin of neglecting 
the fine arts. There are at this moment four 
Italian operas in Spain : in Madrid, — in Malaga, 
in Granada, and in Barcellona ; and this is 
fewer than usual ; for Cadiz and Seville can also 
generally boast of an Italian company ; and 
wherever there is an operatic company, there is 
also a company of comedians. I shall have 
occasion afterwards, to notice the operas of 
Malaga, Granada, and Barcellona ; at present I 
confine myself to Madrid. There, music is 
universally cultivated; and it is rare to find a 
Spanish woman, even in the middle ranks, who 
is not a good pianist. The music of Rossini, set 
to the piano, is the most in vogue ; but the 
German masters also are known to many, — and 
justice is done to them. That instrument so 
interwoven with our ideas of Spain — the guitar, 
is now little cultivated in Castile by the higher 
or middle ranks ; it is in the southern provinces, 

110 SPAIN IN 1830. 

and in some of the more retired Spanish towns, 
such as Toledo, that the guitar still maintains 
its power, and exercises its witcheries. In 
Madrid too, in the evening, the lower orders are 
frequently seen sitting at their doors thrumming 
their guitars ; and I have more than once observed 
a soldier sitting before the guard-house with his 
guitar, while his comrades sat on the ground 
listening, and joining in the chorus. If the 
ladies of Madrid know how to play the guitar, 
they refrain from displaying their knowledge. 
The piano is their instrument, and they do it 
justice. In vocal music, the ladies of Madrid 
are not proficients ; there is a want of melody 
in their voices which forbids excellence. This 
roughness in the voices of the Spanish women, 
forcibly strikes a stranger upon his first entrance 
into Spanish society, and is felt to be disagree- 
able even in conversation : of its effect in vocal 
performance, one has rarely an opportunity of 

In Madrid, Spanish music is not much culti- 
vated, — this is a pity ; for although it knows 
neither operatic performances, nor any composi- 
tions of a sustained character, it owns many 
beautiful and original airs, well worthy of being 

SPAIN IN 1830. 1 1 I 

preserved. A collection of these has lately, 
I believe, been published in England, accom- 
panied with some charming poetry, from the 
pens of Mrs. Hemans and Dr. Bowring. — 
These are to be heard in the theatres, and 
occasionally in the mouths of the lower orders. 
If a lady be requested to play a Spanish 
air, she will comply ; but otherwise, she will 
always prefer Italian music. 



The King, Queen, and Roj^al Family; Personal Appearance of 
Ferdinand ; a Royal Jeu cVesprit ; the King's Confidence in 
the People, and Examples ; Character of the King ; a Carlist's 
Opinion of the King; Favourites, — Calomarde, — Alegon, — 
Salsedo, — the Duque d'Higar ; rising Influence of the Queen ; 
Habits of the Royal Family ; Court Diversions ; Rivalry of 
Don Carlos ; the Queen's Accouchement, and Views of Parties; 
Detection of a Carlist Plot ; the Salic Law ; Court Society ; 
Persons of Distinction, and Ministerial Tertulias ; Habits and 
Manner of Life of the Middle Classes ; a Spanish House, and its 
singular Defences ; Abstemiousness of the Spaniards; Evening 
and Morning Visits ; Balls and Spanish Dancing ; Character 
of Spanish Hospitality ; Spanish Generosity and its origin ; 
Examples of Ostentation ; Morals ; Gallantry and Intrigue ; 
the Morals of the Lower Orders ; Religious Opinions in the 
Capital, and decline of Priestly Influence ; Jesuitical Educa- 
tion ; the Influence of the Friars ; Causes of the decline of 
Priestly influence, and the continuance of that of the Friars ; 
Convent Secrets ; curious Expose at Cadiz ; Devotion in 

There is perhaps no European Court about 
which so little is known, as the Court of 
Madrid, — nor any European sovereign whose 

SPAIN IN 1830. 1 13 

character and habits are so little familiar to 
us, as those of Ferdinand VII. The first time 
I saw the king, was on the day of my arrival 
in Madrid : he was expected to return from 
St. Ildefonso, and I mixed with the crowd in 
the palace-yard about an hour before he 
appeared. There were several thousand per- 
sons present, of all ranks, and his Majesty 
was received with respect, but with no 
audible demonstrations of welcome. Upon 
this occasion, 1 was not sufficiently near to 
observe the countenance and demeanour of 
the king. 

The next time I saw his majesty, was on 
the Prado, the Sunday following, when he 
appeared in his state equipage, followed by 
the equipages of the two Infantes. The dis- 
play was regal : his majesty's carriage was 
M'orthy of a more powerful monarch : it was 
drawn by eight handsome horses^ elegantly 
caparisoned, and was followed by the two 
carriages of Don Carlos and Don Francis, 
and by that of the Princess of Portugal, each 
drawn by six horses ; and the cavalcade ^ras 
attended by a numerous party of huzzars. 

VOL. I. J 

114 SPAIN IN 1830. 

There were no other persons than their 
Majesties in the royal carriage. The king 
was dressed in military uniform, and his 
royal consort wore a pink French crape hat, 
and printed muslin gown. When the royal 
cavalcade passed, the king was received with 
the usual silent tokens of respect ; but when 
the carriage of the infante Don Carlos 
appeared, I could distinguish a few vivas. 
The king took scarcely any notice of the 
obeisances of his subjects; but the queen 
seemed anxious to conciliate their favour by 
many sweet smiles and affable bendings of 
the head. As for Don Carlos, none of the 
vivas were lost upon him : he had a bow and 
a grim smile for every one. It is said, and 
I believe with truth, that the king does not 
like this public competition with his brother 
for popular favour; but it has long been the 
invariable custom for all the branches of 
the royal family of Spain, to attend prayers 
every Sunday evening in the royal chajDcl 
in the convent of San Geronimo, and afterwards 
to drive along the Prado. 

A few days afterwards I met the king and 
queen in the Retire, on foot ; they had been 

SPAIN IN 1S30. 115 

viewing the menagerie, and were returning to 
their carriage. Ferdinand VII. king of Spain, 
is like a lusty country gentleman, not the 
meagre figure he appears in Madame Tassaud's 
exhibition ; he is large, almost to the extent 
i of corpulency ; his countenance is fat and 

heavy; but good natured, with nothing of 
hauteu7\ still less of ferocity in it : it betrays, 
in fact, a total want of character of any kind. 
The queen is a remarkably pleasing, and, 
indeed, a remarkable pretty woman ; and the 
charm of affability, which is universally grant- 
ed to her by those who have had the honour 
to approach her person, shines conspicuously 
in her countenance : she looks like 28 years 
of age, but I believe she is some years 
younger. The king took little notice of the 
people who stood by, and who acknowledged 
the royal presence; but the queen bestowed 
upon them her usual smiles and curtesies. 
She was then an object of much interest with 
the public, for she was expected shortly to 
give birth to an heir to the Spanish throne ; 
and to this event, most thinking persons 
looked forward, as one that must produce 
I 2 

116 SPAIN IN 1830. 

an important influence upon the future con- 
dition of Spain. His majesty stepped into 
the carriage first, leaving the queen to the 
gallantry of an old general, who was their 
only attendant, — perhaps this is Spanish court 
etiquette : but that I may not be the means 
of fixing upon his majesty the character of 
an ungallant monarch, I must relate a cir- 
cumstance that will certainly make amends 
for this seemingly ungracious act. 

I happened to be walking one day in the 
Calle de Alcala, when the royal carriage drove 
up to the door of the Cabinet of Natural History, 
and being close by, I stopped to see the king 
and queen. The king stepped from the carriage 
first; he then lifted from the carriage, a very 
large poodle dog, and then the queen followed, 
whom, contrary no doubt to royal etiquette, his 
majesty did not hand, but lifted, and placed on 
the pavement; and then turning to the crowd 
who surrounded the carriage, he said to them 
"Pesa menos el matriomoni," which means. Ma- 
trimony is a lighter burden than the dog, — a 
very tolerable jeu d'espiit to have come from 
Ferdinand VH. 

It is a general belief in England, that the 

SPAIN IN 1830. 117 

king of Spain seldom trusts himself out of his 
palace ; at all events, not without a formid- 
able guard : but this idea is quite erroneous ; 
no monarch in Europe is oftener seen with- 
out guards than the king of Spain. I could 
give numerous instances of this, which have 
fallen under my own observation ; but I shall 
content myself with one. A few days before 
leaving Madrid, while walking in the Retiro 
about six in the evening, in one of the most 
private walks, I observed a lusty gentleman, 
in blue coat and drab trowsers, with one 
companion, about twenty paces in advance; 
and, as ray pace was rather quicker than 
their's, I caught a side look of the lusty 
gentleman's face : it was the king, accompa- 
nied by a new valet, who had just succeeded 
Meris, who died a week or two before, of 
apoplexy. I had frequently seen the king 
without guards ; but never before, at so great 
a distance from attendants, or in so retired 
a place ; and that I might be (juite certain 
that this was indeed the redoubtable Fer- 
dinand, I followed, in place of passing. He 
walked the whole lengtli of the Retiro, parts 
of which are more than a mile from any guard 

118 SPAIN IN 1830. 

or gate ; the garden is open to every body ; 
some of the walks are extremely secluded ; so 
that he was the whole of the time, entirely in 
the power of any individual who might have 
harboured a design against him ; and all 
this struck me the more forcibly since, upon 
that very day, it had been announced for the 
first time in the Gaceta de Madrid, that the 
refugees had passed the frontier; and in the 
same paper the ordinance had appeared, for 
closing the universities. The king walked 
like a man who had nothing to fear; and never 
once looked behind him, though his com- 
panion occasionally did. Before making the 
circuit of the Retiro, he reached the frequented 
walks, which were then crowded, and where 
he was of course recognized, and received as 
usual. This exposure of himself seemed to me 
extraordinary, and scarcely to be accounted 
for : the best of kings have occasionally 
suffered by their temerity ; and surely Fer- 
dinand can have no right to suppose himself 
without an enemy : his conduct shewed either 
a very good, or a very hardened conscience. 

But, in truth, the king has not many 
enemies; many despise him, but few would 

SPAIN IN 1830. 119 

injure him. I have heard men of all parties, 
— the warmest Carlists, the most decided 
liberals, speak of him without reserve ; and 
all speak of him as a man whose greatest 
fault is want of character ; as a man not 
naturally bad ; good tempered ; and who 
might do better, were he better advised. 
An honest adviser, a lover of his monarch, 
and a lover of his country, Ferdinand has 
never had the good fortune to possess ; but, 
counselled always by men who desire only 
to enrich themselves, and to maintain their 
power, he is constantly led to commit acts 
both of injustice and despotism, which have 
earned for him the character of tyrant. A 
despicable king might often make a respect- 
able private gentleman. That capital failing 
in the character of an absolute king, which 
may be called want of character, — leading 
him to listen to every tale that is told,— is the 
fruitful source of injustice in every depart- 
ment of the Spanish government. And the 
same fault that in a king, leads to the advance- 
ment of knaves, and the neglect of deserving 
men — to robbery of the nation, and the ill- 
serving of the state, would, in a private sphere, 

120 SPAIN IN 1830. 

only lead to the dismissal of a footman, or the 
change of a fruiterer. I am acquainted with 
a Colonel in the Spanish service, who, after 
serving his country fifteen years, and receiv- 
ing seventeen wounds, was rewarded with the 
government of an important fortress ; two 
months after being appointed to this employ- 
ment he lost it; and a distant connexion of 
the mistress of one of the ministers, was put 
in his place. The colonel demanded, and 
obtained an audience of the king ; shewed 
his wounds, and asked what crime he had 
committed : the king said he must inquire 
of Salmon, who had told something to his 
disadvantage; and this was all the satisfac- 
tion he ever obtained. This man, a brave 
officer, and a loyal subject, was converted 
into a disaffected person ; and yet even he, 
although then leagued with the Carlists, spoke 
of the king as a man who would act better 
if he were better advised : " Leave him," 
said he, "the name of king; let him per- 
ceive no difference in the externals of roy- 
alty ; leave him his secretaries and valets ; 
give him his segar ; and let him have his 
wife's apartments at hand ; and he would con- 

SPAIN IN 1830. 121 

sent to any change that might be proposed to 
him by an honest and able minister." A bad 
education has produced its worst effects upon 
a naturally irresolute and rather weak mind. 
Ferdinand was badly brought up, by his 
mother ; at an early age he was shamefully 
kidnapped by Napoleon, and long kept a 
prisoner, where he could learn nothing of the 
art of good government. He afterwards fell 
into the hands of a bigot, his late wife: and 
constantly assured by those around him of the 
precariousness of his throne, with the liberals 
on one side, and the apostolicals on the other, 
he has felt the impossibility of acting for him- 
self; and has confided all, to those who have 
undertaken to keep the state vessel afloat. 

The man who has most the ear of the king, 
is Don Francisco Tudeo Calomarde, minister of 
justice, as he is called in Spain. The private 
opinions of Calomarde, are decidedly aposto- 
lical ; but the opinions of his colleagues being 
more moderate, he is obliged to conceal his 
sentiments, and to pretend an accordance with 
theirs. The ministers who are reputed to be 
moderate in sentiment are Don Luis Ballas- 
teros, minister of finance ; Don Luis Maria 

122 SPAIN IN 1830. 

Salagar, minister of marine, and generally 
considered the most able in the cabinet ; and 
Don Manuel Gonsalez Salmon, secretary of 
state, and nominally prime minister. This 
minister, for several years, held only the office 
of interim secretary of state ; because, as was 
generally believed, etiquette forcing the king 
to take the prime minister along with him to 
his country palace, the advancement of Sal- 
mon would have deprived Calomarde of this 
privilege : lately, however, Salmon has been 
named secretary of state without reserve, pro- 
bably because he would not serve upon other 
conditions ; or, according to another version, 
because he threatened Calomarde with some 
e.vposk if he opposed his advancement. 

Calomarde, unquestionably no fool, is un- 
derstood to keep all together ; the minister of 
the marine is the only other man of talent, and 
he is a new man, possessing little influence, 
and who could not, for a moment, support 
himself against Calomarde ; he was only a 
few months ago presented with the rank of 
general, that etiquette might enable him to 
hold some office with which the king wished 
to reward his services. 

SPAIN IN 1830. 123 

But Calomarde had not the king's un- 
divided ear; and, if report speak truly, he 
has tale-telling and cabal to encounter, as 
well as those in inferior stations. There are 
other two individuals who, without high state 
offices, possess great private influence, and are 
generally looked upon in the light of favourites. 
These are the Duque de Alegon and Salsedo. 
The former was appointed last autumn to the 
office of captain-general of the guard ; an 
office that keeps him much about the king's 
person. This Alegon is a dissipated old man, 
long known to the king, and who used, in 
former days, to pander to his pleasures ; the 
king has never forgotten the convenient friend 
of his younger days, and has now thought of 
rewarding him. The services of the Duque 
de Alegon refer to many years back. Before 
the king wedded his bigot wife, not affection, 
but religious fear kept him faithful during 
that connexion ; and now, the love he bestows 
upon the young queen, entirely supersedes 
any call upon the services of Alegon. 

The other individual, who is justly con- 
sidered the royal favourite, par excellence, is 
Salsedo, who holds the office of private secre- 

124 SPAIN IN 1830. 

tary. A dishonourable link formerly bound 
him to his sovereign, and he still retains his 
influence. It is generally known, that pre- 
vious to the marriage of the king with his 
present wife, the wife of Salsedo was in royal 
favour. Salsedo is decidedly a man of good 
tact, if not of talent ; his having retained his 
post fourteen years is some proof of both . His 
principles are understood to be moderate ; at 
all events his advice is so, for he has sense to 
perceive that an opposite policy would pro- 
bably accelerate the ruin of both his master 
and himself. Salsedo possesses more in- 
fluence in the closet than Calomarde, — the 
king likes him better, and confides in him 
more. The influence of Calomarde is not 
favouritism ; the king looks to his opinion, 
because he trusts to his knowledge. There 
are still one or two others who have some- 
thing to say at court, particularly the Duque 
d'Higar, the best man of the Camarilla, and a 
man both of talent and information : but the 
influence of the Duque d'Higar is not great. 
The favourite valet de chambre, who died of 
apoplexy some months ago, was also fast creep- 
ing on towards high favour ; and his death has 

SPAIN IN 1830. 125 

thrown more influence into the hands of Sal- 

But it is now generally supposed, that the 
rising influence of the queen will in due time 
discard every other influence about court. 
No king and queen ever lived more happily 
together, than the present king and queen of 
Spain. The king is passionately attached to 
her; and it is said she is perfectly satisfied 
with her lot. He spends the greater part of 
the day in her apartments ; and when engaged 
in council, leaves it half a dozen times in the 
course of an hour or two, to visit his queen. 
The habits of the court are extremely simple : 
the king rises at six, and breakfasts at seven ; 
he spends the morning chiefly with the queen, 
but receives his ministers and secretary at any 
time before two ; at half-past two he dines, 
always in company with the queen. Dinner 
occupies not more than an hour; and shortly 
after, he and the queen drive out together: he 
sups at half-past eight, and retires early. The 
queen does not rise so early as the king ; she 
breakfasts at nine; and the king always sits 
by her. There is scarcely any gaiety at court. 
The queen is fond of retirement ; and excepting 

126 SPAIN IN 1830. 

now and then a private concert, there are no 
court diversions. 

While I vv^as in Madrid, the favourite pas- 
time of the king and queen was of rather an 
extraordinary kind ; especially as the queen 
was on the eve of her accouchement. It con- 
sisted in looking at the wild beasts, which are 
kept in the Retiro. Almost every evening 
about five o'clock, the royal carriage might be 
seen crossing the Prado, on its way towards 
the menagerie ; and as the Retiro was generally 
my afternoon lounge, I had frequent oppor- 
tunities of seeing this royal diversion. There 
is a large square court about 200 yards across, 
inclosed with iron railings, and round the in- 
terior of this court, are the cages of the wild 
animals; and in this court, sat the king and 
queen upon a bench, while the animals were 
turned out for their amusement, — such of them 
at least as were peaceable, — camels, elephants, 
zebras, &c. &c. The keepers mounted upon 
the backs of the animals, and made them trot 
round the area ; and when this had been done 
often enough to please their majesties, the beasts 
were led in front of their royal visitors, and 
made to kneel, — which act of homage however 

SPAIN IN 1830. 127 

they sometimes refused to perform. Upon one 
occasion, the man who rode the camel, not 
being able to keep his seat, turned his face 
towards the tail, sitting upon the neck of the 
animal ; their majesties were in ecstasies at 
this exhibition ; the king, I thought, would 
have died with laughing. 

T was witness, another time, to a strange 
scene of rivalry between the king and Don 
Carlos. When the king's carriage drove up to 
the gate of the court, Don Carlos and his wife 
and family were seated in the area, and his 
carriage was in waiting : upon this occasion, 
the king arrived in state ; a party of dragoons 
attended him, and his coachmen were in court 
dresses. The carriage of Don Carlos was in 
strange contrast with that of the king ; it was 
drawn by six mules, harnessed with ropes ; in 
place of postilions in court dresses, his servants 
were in the dress of Spanish peasants in their 
holiday clothes, — one on the coach-box, — the 
other employed as a runner by the head of the 
mules. Don Carlos affects all this appearance 
of simplicity and Spanish usage, to please the 
people ; and for the same reason, his wife 
generally appears in a mantilla. The moment 

128 SPAIN IN 1830. 

the king's carriage appeared, Don Carlos left 
the court with his wife, and continued to walk 
in the most crowded part of the garden while 
the king and queen remained, dividing the 
attention which their majesties would other- 
wise have received, and indeed engrossing the 
larger share of it. I could not avoid remarking 
the greater popularity of Don Carlos among 
the lower orders : while they only took off 
their hats as the king passed, they bowed 
almost to the ground at the presence of the 
Infante. The appearance of the queen, how- 
ever, always produced a favourable impres- 
sion, especially when contrasted with that 
of her aspiring rival. One cannot look at 
the spouse of Don Carlos, without perceiving 
that she covets a crown; while in the coun- 
tenance of the queen, we read indifference 
to it. 

Upon frequent other occasions while in 
Madrid, I had proofs of the anxiety of Don 
Carlos to recommend himself to the people. 
The most marked of these, was upon the 
evening when the queen gave birth to a prin- 
cess : not an hour after this was known, the 
Infante drove through the streets and along 

SPAIN IN 1830. 129 

the Prado, in an open carriage, along with 
his three sons, who, by the repeal of the 
Salic law, were that day cut out of their in- 

The event to which I have alluded, — the 
accouchement of the queen — was a matter 
of deep interest in Madrid ; and before its 
accomplishment there was the utmost anxiety 
among all ranks. Each party had its own 
views. The moderate, or government party, 
and many belonging to the other parties, 
who desired peace and tranquillity, anxiously 
looked to the birth of a prince, as an event 
that would at once extinguish the claims of 
those who, but for the repeal of the Salic 
law, would have had a right to the throne, 
in case of the birth of a princess. The Car- 
lists secretly wished that the event might 
be precisely the opposite ; and the liberal 
party, seeing some possible advantage in 
whatever should tend to unsettle the existing 
government, united their wishes with those 
of the Carlists : but, the great majority of 
the respectable inhabitants, perceiving in the 
birth of a prince, a guarantee for the tran- 
quillity of the kingdom, and the security of 

VOL. I. K 

130 SPAIN IN 1830. 

property, devoutly wished that such might 
be the event. 

The anxiety that filled the public mind, 
was fully partaken by the government; for 
it was well known to the heads of the state, 
that conspiracies were on foot ; and that, in 
the event of the birth of a princess, the Car- 
lists would have a pretext for an open mani- 
festation of their views. They, however, had 
resolved not to wait this event, but to anti- 
cipate it ; and a plot, which might possibly 
have proved successful, and which, at all 
events, must have led to scenes of blood, 
perhaps to revolution, was fortunately dis- 
covered on the day before that appointed 
for its execution ; and the most prompt mea- 
sures were immediately taken for crushing 
it. On the fifth of October, about midnight, 
carriages, accompanied by sufficient escorts, 
were taken to the houses of Padre Cirilo, 
the chief of the Franciscan order of friars ; 
of Don Rufino Gonsalez : of Don Man. 
Herro, both Counsellors of State, and of 
thirteen others ; the conspirators were put 
into the carriages, and driven off, — Cirilo to 
Seville ; Rufino to La Mancha, and the others 

SPAIN IN 1830. 131 

to different places distant from the metropolis. 
The conspirators intended that some of the 
heads should have repaired to the inner court 
of the palace while the king was engaged in 
his evening drive ; that about a thousand of 
the royalist volunteers — who are for the most 
part Carlists — should assemble at the palace 
yard ; that the entrance to the palace should 
be taken possession of;' the king seized upon 
his return, and forced to change his ministers, 
and to restore the Salic law. I feel little 
doubt, that if this plot had not been dis- 
covered, it would have led to more than a 
change of ministers. Among the military, 
and even among the guards, there are many 
discontented men, who fancy they see in the 
elevation of Don Carlos, a guarantee for a 
more impartial system of promotion ; and the 
royalist volunteers of Madrid, 6000 strong, 
and all provided with arms, and accustomed 
to manoeuvre them, are, with few exceptions 
of the lowest classes, and chiefly Carlists. 

I walked to the palace yard the evening 
when it was expected the event would be 
known : it presented a dense mass of persons, 
iv 2 

132 SPAIN IN 1830. 

chiefly of bourgeois and of the middle classes, 
all waiting with anxiety the announcement of 
the event, upon which the tranquillity of the 
country so greatly depended. At length the 
white flag — the announcement of a princess — 
was slowly hoisted. There was a universal 
and audible expression of disappointment : 
''Que lastima! que lastima T and the crowd 
slowly dispersed. 

The repeal of the Salic law was not in 
itself an unpopular measure; and had there 
been no claimants to the crown under the 
old law, or no party to take advantage of 
disunion, and support these claims, it would 
have been a matter of indiflerence to the peo- 
ple, whether the queen gave birth to a son or 
a daughter : the repeal of the Salic law was 
only the revival of the ancient law of Castile, 
andjoer se, gave no dissatisfaction. It was the 
peculiar circumstances in which the country 
was placed, and the state of parties, that 
rendered the birth of a prince or a princess 
a matter of importance : the event created 
much disappointment to the government party, 
but no discontent : it is well known that the 
Constitutionalists on the frontier had trusted 

SPAIN IN 1830. 133 

to the latter, and hoped to profit by it: but 
the effect was rather against than favour- 
able to that party; because the Carlists, seeing 
their own ultimate chances increased, were 
therefore more interested in assisting govern- 
ment to suppress the Constitutionalists, whose 
ascendancy would leave them no hope. — But 
to return to the court. 

There is nothing of court society at Madrid : 
the secluded habits of the king and queen, 
I have spoken of already; and there is scarcely 
any visiting among the courtiers. The persons 
of distinction in Madrid lead a most mono- 
tonous life: one lady only, the Duchess of 
Benevente, opens her house once a week, — 
this is on Sunday evening, and she receives, 
among others, those of the foreign ministers 
who choose to visit her. Her parties, how- 
ever, are far from being agreeable : the Spa- 
niards of distinction who frequent her tertulia, 
generally withdraw when the foreign ministers 
are announced. This disinclination on the 
part of the Spanish grandees, and others 
holding high court preferment, to associate 
with the foreign ambassadors, is notorious in 
Madrid. At the tertulia, of the wife of Don 

134 SPAIN IN 1830. 

Manuel Gonsalez Salmon, the foreign ministers 
used formerly to be present, but they dis- 
covered that they were regarded in a light 
little different from that of spies ; and they 
are now never seen at these tertulias. In 
Madrid there are no ministerial, no diplomatic 
dinners ; and among the persons of most 
distinction, entertainments are extremely rare. 
There is, in fact, nothing like gaiety among 
the upper ranks in the Spanish metropolis. 
And yet, if you remark to a Spanish lady that 
there is little society among the higher classes 
in Madrid, she will express the utmost astonish- 
ment that you should have imbibed so false a 
notion of Madrid and its society ; but her 
idea of society and yours differ widely. If a 
dozen houses are open, into which a Spanish 
lady may go when she pleases, sit down on 
the sofa with her friend, fan herself, and talk 
till she is tired ; this she considers society, — 
and this is the only form of society to be found 
among the highest classes in Madrid, — gaiety 
there is none. 

Previous to travelling into Spain, I had 
heard much of the difficulty, if not impossi- 
bility, of obtaining access to Spanish society ; 

SPAIN IN 1830. 135 

and before I had the means of judging for 
myself, I received frequent corroboration of 
this opinion. One of his majesty's consuls, 
whom I accidentally met in the Pyrenees, and 
whose appointment lies in the largest city of 
Spain, next to Madrid ; a man too, who, both 
by his rank, for he is the nephew of a peer, 
and by the affability of his manners, Avould 
be likely to be every where well received, 
told me that I should probably leave Spain 
with no greater knowledge of Spanish society 
than when I entered it ; that it was more than 
probable I should never see the inside of a 
Spanish house : and he concluded by saying, 
that he had been four years in Spain, and 
actually did not know if the Spaniards dined off 
a table doth. This was rather disheartening: 
and when I waited upon the British minister 
upon my arrival in Madrid, 1 received from 
him no greater encouragement. He told 
me that Spanish houses were closed against 
foreigners; and that, for his own part, he 
knew nobody, and visited no where. 

I am not able to reconcile these opinions, 
and the experience of others, with my own ; 
my advantages, considerable as they certainly 

136 SPAIN IN 1830. 

were, could not be compared with those of the 
accredited representatives of government, who 
had resided many years in the country. It is 
a fact, however, that I had not been many 
days in Madrid, before I had the entr6e of 
several Spanish houses, both in the higher and 
in the middle classes of society : this good 
fortune I may partly attribute to my intimacy 
with an attache of the Spanish embassy in 
London, who, grateful for the attentions he 
had received from my countrymen, repaid 
them in the manner most acceptable to me, — - 
namely, by making me acquainted with a 
numerous circle of friends and relatives. His 
father, a member of the council of state, 
may easily be supposed to have possessed the 
power of assisting the inquiries of a traveller; 
and to him, and to my young friend, now 
secretary to one of the legations in Italy, I 
have to return my best thanks for a hundred 

It is the habits of the middle classes, that 
best interpret the condition and character of a 
people ; and to these I mean at present to con- 
fine myself. I shall begin by giving the reader 
some idea of the interior of a Spanish house ; 

SPAIN IN 1830. 137 

but let me premise, that the houses in the 
different cities of Spain, bear scarcely any 
resemblance to each other : the houses of 
Madrid differ in almost every thing from 
those of Seville, — w^hich, again, are in many 
respects different from the houses in Malaga 
and Valencia. These distinctions are suffi- 
cient to excuse a detail so apparently trifling, 
as the description of a house ; because they 
arise from a distinction in the manners and 
habits of the people inhabiting the different 
provinces of Spain. 

In Madrid, the whole of the middle classes, 
and, indeed, all excepting the very highest 
ranks, live in stories, or flats, as they are 
called in Scotland, — each story being a dis- 
tinct house. The outer door of every house 
in Madrid is of an enormous strength, more 
like the door of a prison, or of a convent, 
than of a private dwelling house ; and m 
the centre, there is a small window, about 
six inches long by two broad, grated with 
iron, and with a sliding shutter. When one 
rings at the door of a Spanish house, the 
answer to the bell is a voice, which calls 
out " Quien es ?" — who is it ? or who comes ? 

138 SPAIN IN 1830. 

and the person wishing to be admitted, must 
answer " Gente de paz,"' — literally, People 
peace. But this assertion does not content 
the person within, who then shoves aside the 
shutter and peeps through ; and the usual 
colloquy is carried on through the grating, 
before the door be thrown open, unless the per- 
son without, be known to the servant within. 
One cannot help endeavouring to account for 
the origin of so singular a custom ; and 
perhaps the truest guess that can be made, is, 
to refer it to the suspicion, and feeling of per- 
sonal insecurity, which are the offspring of bad 
government, of political persecution, and re- 
ligious inquisition. The window shutters of 
the houses are as massive as the doors ; and 
the glass of the windows is purposely so bad, 
that it is impossible to see into a house from 
the opposite side of a street: three panes, 
however, are always of good glass, so that 
one may be able to see out. 

The house which I select for a descrip- 
tion of its interior, as a fair sample of the 
dwelling-houses of the middle classes in 
Madrid, belonged to a gentleman holding a 
government appointment of 50,000 reals (500/.) 

SPAIN IN 1830. 139 

per annum ; which may be equal to about 
700/. a-year in London : and, with very few 
variations, this house may be taken as an 
average specimen of the houses of profes- 
sional men, employees, and independent per- 
sons, of from 500/. to 1,000/. per annum. 
The principal room, answering to the English 
drawing-room, is large, and well-lighted ; a 
handsome straw matting, worked in a pat- 
tern of coloured flowers, and which looks 
quite as pretty as a carpet, entirely covers 
the floor, which is generally of brick. There 
is no fire-place in the room ; the walls and 
roof are both what is called stained, and this 
is as well executed as I have ever seen it 
in England ; and the furniture of the room 
consists of a large mahogany sofa, with hair 
cushion, covered with flowered black satin ; 
mahogany chairs, with green and straw- 
coloured basket-seats ; four small mahogany 
tables, of good material, and prettily carved, 
and a large round table in the centre of the 
room — ^just an English loo-table — upon which 
stands a handsome service of china ; a mirror, 
and two marble slabs between the windows, 
and a few pictures — copies from Spanish 

140 SPAIN IN 1830. 

masters, — complete the furniture : but let me 
not omit five or six low stools, scattered here 
and there; for every lady has her footstool. 

At one end of this room, opening from the 
side, is a recess, twelve or thirteen feet square, 
and not concealed by any curtain. This is a 
bed-room," — a bed-room too in constant use. 
The bedstead is of steel or brass wire ; the bed 
is covered with a counterpane, trimmed with 
broad lace ; the furniture is all of mahogany, 
and the wash-hand basin and ewer are of 

A wide archway opening at the other end 
of the drawing-room, leads to an ante-room, 
covered with the same matting as the draw- 
ing-room, and furnished with a couch, chairs, 
and footstools, covered with blue satin. At 
the side of this ante-room is another recess, 
open like the other, containing two beds, 
between them a small marble slab, with a 
vessel of holy-water, and at the head of each 
a small image of Christ in ivory. This is the 
matrimonial chamber. The rest of the house 
consists of a long, tortuous, and rather dark 
passage, from which the other rooms enter: 
these are, a small parlour, or study, always 

SPAIN IN 1830. ]41 

poorly fitted up ; a boudoir, with a low couch 
covered with black satin, a couple of foot- 
stools, a table, and very handsome looking- 
glass; this important room is either matted, or 
floored with Valencia tiles; and the walls are 
generally covered with a French paper, and 
adorned or disfigured as the case may happen, 
with a few pictures, religious, or of an opposite 
character, or both, according to the taste of the 

T]:.e worst room in almost every Spanish 
house, is the dining-room, or rather eating- 
room, for every meal is taken in the same 
room : the floor has generally no matting, — the 
walls are unadorned, — the furniture is of the 
commonest description, — and the room itself 
so small, that the table, which nearly fills the 
room, is rarely large enough for more than six 
persons. This at once lets a stranger into an 
important secret in the economy of Madrid 
society ; that there is no probability of receiving 
an invitation to dinner. I say Madrid society, 
because in the southern provinces, the dining- 
room and its uses are different. But although 
a stranger must not expect many invitations to 
dinner in Madrid, yet, if he be once received 

142 SPAIN IN 1830. 

into a family upon a familiar footing, and 
should pay a visit while the family are at 
dinner, or just sitting down to dinner, he will 
not be denied admittance, but will be re- 
quested to walk into the eating-room, and a 
chair will be immediately placed for him at 
table. This civility, however, must be accepted 
with discretion ; because the civil speech, which 
is invariably addressed to a stranger, when 
he concludes his first visit, — Esta casa es a la 
disposicion de V^-, — " This house is at your 
disposal," — is a form of words not to be 
always interpreted literally. I have omitted 
to mention the Spanish kitchen, which is 
provided with a stone table, in which there 
are six or eight circular holes for charcoal, 
and numerous earthen vessels to fit these 
holes. Generally speaking, respectable Spanish 
houses, whether in Madrid, Seville, or Valencia, 
are scrupulously clean. I have never in any 
country, seen kitchens and bed-rooms so clean 
as they are in Spain. The description I have 
given may serve to convey to the reader a 
tolerably accurate idea of the houses of Madrid : 
some may contain a greater number of apart- 
ments, and others fewer ; and some may be a 

SPAIN IN 1830. 143 

little better, others a little worse furnished ; 
but in the material points, they are all the 
same ; they have all an elegant drawing-room, 
bed-rooms in recesses, a wretched dininir- 
room, and a luxuriously fitted-up boudoir. 

In a former chapter, I spoke of the manner 
of living among the middle classes in the 
northern provinces. In Madrid, and generally 
in Castile, there is somewhat more luxury in the 
table, though the Spaniards as a nation, may 
justly be characterized as abstemious, and little 
addicted to the pleasures of the table. The 
olla or puchero, is not the sole dish that graces 
the tables of the middle and upper classes in 
Madrid : there is generally a stew of some kind 
added, and dinner is always followed by cakes, 
sweetmeats, and fruit ; but this is after all but 
an indifferent dinner for one with an income 
of 700/. or 800/. a-year. And there are still 
very many in Madrid, even in the upper ranks, 
who are contented with the puchero; and I 
was myself acquainted with one or two families 
in good circumstances, who yet lived in a way 
which we should call piggishly in England, 
sending to the cook-shop for a puchero, and to 

144 SPAIN IN 1830. 

the wine-shop, for the daily portion required 
at dinner. 

The inhabitants of Madrid, excepting the 
trades people, rise late, and breakfast between 
ten and eleven, upon a cup of chocolate, with 
scarcely any bread, and a glass of cold water. 
Going to mass, dressing, paying and receiving 
visits, and walking the streets, occupy the 
ladies till the dinner hour; and this, following 
the example of the court, and in order that it 
may not interfere with the claims of the Prado, 
is early, even among the highest ranks. Then 
follows the siesta; and the interval between 
the siesta and dressing for the Prado, is 
usually passed upon the balcony. After the 
Prado, is the tertulia, which may be said to be 
the only form of Spanish society. When you 
have the entr6eof a house in Madrid, and pay 
your visit in the evening, you find the family 
assembled near the windows, with two or 
three strangers, chatting and laughing; the 
ladies of the house without mantillas, and the 
visitors generally wearing them. The young 
ladies, or seiioritas, are in one part of the 
room, with one or two caballeros ; and the 


Senora de Casa in another, probably con- 
versing" with a priest or friar; unless she be 
young, in which case there is no division in 
the society. The room is usually badly lighted, 
most commonly with a semi-luna at the far- 
thest corner, — and the master of the house is 
rarely one of the party. He is a member of 
another tertulia. The conversation is always 
lively, and somewhat piquante, and the visitors 
stay late, and are not presented with any re- 

If the visit be made in the morning, the lady, 
if not walking the streets, or gossiping, is found 
in her boudoir, seated upon a low couch, in a 
black silk dress ; her feet upon a footstool ; and 
beside her, a large basket, such as Murillo has 
so often painted. She is always engaged in 
some kind of embroidery, — and her fan, which 
she resumes the moment you enter, lies on the 
table before her. 

The only kind of party to which a stranger 
is invited in Madrid, is a ball ; but there is no 
necessity for an invitation, if one has the entree 
of the house. At these parties, the ladies are 
rarely dressed in the Spanish fashion, but 

VOL. I. L 

146 SPAIN IN 1830. 

generally a la Francaise, with white or coloured 
dresses, — the only distinguishing, and never 
to be mistaken mark of a Spanish woman, being 
the fan. The Spanish ladies invariably dance 
well ; and yet their mode of dancing is as 
opposite as possible from the French style : 
it is the management of the head and shoul- 
ders ; and the manner, not the power of motion 
in the limbs, that distinguish the Spanish 
woman. There is another remarkable differ- 
ence between the Spanish, and the French or 
English dance : the gravity of countenance, — 
and generally, the silence that prevails among 
quadrillers, both in France and England, is 
remarkable, and even ludicrous ; but the 
Spanish ladies talk and laugh while they 
dance, — seeing no reason why one pleasure 
should suspend another. At these parties 
there is rarely any refreshment offered ; a 
glass of water may be had, but nothing more. 
Are the Spaniards a hospitable people ? — 
This is a question that cannot be answered 
by a simple monosyllable : it seems difficult 
to separate hospitality from generosity ; and 
yet this distinction must be made in speak- 
ing of the conduct of Spaniards towards 

SPAIN IN 1830. 147 

strangers. A Spaniard considers himself to 
be remarkable for his hospitality, because he 
is at all times happy to see a stranger within 
his doors : he says, speaking to an English- 
man, " in your country you invite a foreigner 
to your house, and there the civility ends ; 
he cannot return without another invitation. 
But here, if a stranger be once received 
within our houses, they are ever afterwards 
at his disposal ; he needs no farther invita- 
tion." This is true enough, but it scarcely 
amounts to hospitality. This word, from the 
days of Abraham, who fed the angels, has sig- 
nified setting meat before one ; but a stranger 
might live years in a Spanish city, and be 
on terms of intimacy with many wealthy 
Spaniards, and might yet never break bread 
within a Spanish house, — certainly never by 
invitation. I speak at present of Madrid, and 
the cities of the interior. In Cadiz, Malaga, 
Valencia, and Barcellona, dinner parties are 
occasionally given. But, with this seeming- 
want of hospitality towards strangers, there 
is much, and very uncalled-for generosity. 
Wherever a stranger goes in company with 

r. 2 

148 SPAIN IN 1830. 

a Spaniard, — if to a coffee-house, to the 
theatre, to a bull-fight, — even to shops where 
fancy articles are sold, the Spaniard insists 
upon paying : any remonstrance offends him ; 
nor will he ever, at any after time, permit 
you to repay the obligation in a similar 
way. He is at all times ready with his purse ; 
and draws its strings with the alacrity of a 
man who is eager to give away his money. 
It is difficult to refer to any common principle, 
the different ways in which a Spaniard and an 
Englishman shew kindness to a stranger. The 
Spaniard lays out his money upon him cheer- 
fully; but gives him nothing to eat: the En- 
glishman, on the other hand, would dislike 
paying a crown for a foreigner, but would ask 
him to dinner again and again, and thus lay out 
ten times its amount. 

I fear this apparent disregard of money, may 
have some connexion with that great and un- 
fortunate failing in the character of the middle 
classes in Spain, particularly in Castile — love 
of display, or ostentation. This failing belongs 
to the middle and upper classes in an extra- 
ordinary degree; while inconsiderateness, and 
carelessness of to-morrow, are conspicuous in 


SPAIN IN 1830. 149 

the characters both of the middle and lower 
classes. Almost every one in Spain lives up 
to his income. Even the employees, who hold 
their posts by a very uncertain tenure, seldom 
lay by any thing ; they generally die penny- 
less: and it is a certain fact, that the families 
of employees who have died beggars, have 
swelled the Spanish pension list to a most 
formidable length. A Spaniard will dine 
without a table-cloth, to save the expense of 
washing; but this, not that he may lay by 
his money, — but that he may have the eclat, 
not t\ie pleasure, of frequenting the opera; the 
pride, not the gratification, of eating ice in the 
Cafe Catalina. I have known some extraor- 
dinary instances of this love of display : a 
Spanish officer, with whom we had some ac- 
quaintance, invited us to accompany him and 
his wife to the Prado. A handsome carriage 
drove up to the door, attended by two servants 
in gay liveries : will it be believed, that the 
carriage and servants were hired for the occa- 
sion ; and that this officer was married, had a 
family, and possessed only his pay, amounting 
to about 140/. a-year? What sacrifices must 
have been made for the indidgence of this 

150 SPAIN IN 1830. 

piece of vanity ! I knew the family of a judge, 
consisting of a widow, and four daughters, all 
of whom appeared every Sunday on the Prado 
with new satin shoes and clean white gloves : 
the pension of a judge's widow is 8000 reals, 
(80/. sterling). There is nothing remarkable in 
these instances ; and the same love of display 
is visible among the lower orders in Madrid, 
as far as this can be shewn in their rank of life. 
Persons in very humble circumstances are seen 
in most expensive dresses ; and it is not at all 
unusual to meet a female servant with a comb, 
fan, and mantilla, whose united expense would 
amount to 41. or 51. 

In the upper and middle classes of society 
in Madrid, morals are at the lowest ebb : though 
veils are almost thrown aside, and serenades 
are rare, Spain is still the country of gallantry 
and intrigue. Want of education among the 
women, and the absence of moral and religious 
principle among the men, are the fruitful 
sources of this universal demoralization. In 
the education of a Spanish woman, all has 
reference to display; knowledge forms no part 
of it. The business of her life, is dress and 
show; and its object, admiration: this leads to 

SPAIN IN 1830. 151 

gallantry, and all its train of consequences. It 
is impossible to walk into the street, or along 
the Prado, without perceiving even among 
children, that the rudiments of Spanish in- 
discretion are already laid. Little girls of the 
tenderest age shew by their gait and manner, 
that they are already initiated in the business 
of life. I have heard others, scarcely escaped 
from childhood, talk in a manner that would 
have made an English married woman blush, — 
and, to gather something even from infancy, 
I have heard a child five or six years old, ask 
its companion, how it could disregard appear- 
ance so much as to venture out without a pro- 
per ceinture. 

In married life, I have reason to think that 
infidelity is more universal than in Italy; but 
the origin of it is different, and the thing is 
differently managed in the two countries. It 
is a great error to imagine — as some old writers 
upon Spain, and accurate writers in other 
respects, have asserted — that there is any 
connivance in Spain on the part of the hus- 
band : Spanish husbands, with few exceptions, 
are too proud to bargain for their own disho- 
nour. While I was in Madrid, two instances 

152 SPAIN IN 1830. 

occurred, in which husbands murdered their 
wives in fits of jealousy: in neither of these 
cases was the thing sifted to the bottom ; be- 
cause it was known that in doing this the 
villany of two priests would have been 
brought to light. The Cortejo of Spain is 
by no means the Cisesbeo of Italy. The liaison 
in Spain is a secret one ; it has not originated 
in interest or vanity, but in passion ; and the 
greatest pains are taken to conceal it from the 
husband, and even (intimates excepted) from 
the world. There are not in Madrid the same 
opportunities for the formation and prosecu- 
tion of intrigue, as in Seville and the cities of 
the south. In these, the gardens and summer 
houses, — the walls of both forming a part of 
the street, — are particularly favourable to the 
serenade, the billet-doux, and their recom- 
pense. In Madrid, opportunities are more 
precarious : the mass, the street, the balcony, 
are the only places of rendezvous ; and of 
these, the latter is the most prized. Walking 
the streets, while all the world enjoys the 
siesta, wakeful sehoras and serioritas are here 
and there seen behind the curtains that fall 
over the balconies, and which are supposed to 

SPAIN IN 1830. 153 

shade the light from the eyes of the sleeper; 
and now and then some medium of intelli- 
gence is seen fluttering downward, to be picked 
up by a cloaked cabalero. There is another 
important difference between the gallantries 
of Spain, and of Italy or France : in Spain, 
they are not confined to married women : im- 
proper liaisons are not unfrequently formed by 
unmarried ladies ; and those whom one sees 
on the balconies, are much more frequently 
seiioritas than senoras. 

Intrigue is not confined in Madrid to the 
upper, or even the middle classes of society; 
but is found also among the trades people. 
Sometimes during the hours of sleep and 
silence, I have ventured, in passing along the 
street, to draw aside the curtain that is meant 
to secure an uninterrupted siesta to the in- 
mates of the embroiderers, perfumers, or 
dress-makers' shops ; and I have more than 
once interrupted a tete-a-tete. It is fair to add, 
however, that I oftener found the seiiorita fast 
asleep. It is well understood in Madrid, that 
during the time of siesta, no one enters a shop 
where a curtain is drawn ; but a stranger may 

J 54 SPAIN IN 1830. 

sometimes do unpermitted things, under pre- 
tence of ignorance. 

The lower orders in Madrid cannot be 
characterized as grossly immoral : they are not 
drunken and brutal, like the mob of London; 
nor ferocious and insolent, like the canaille 
of Paris. In walking the streets of Madrid, 
it is rarely that one sees either quarrelling or 
gambling ; and I believe it might be possible 
to walk through any part of the city with the 
corner of a handkerchief hanging out of the 
pocket, and to return with it in its place : 
petty larceny, a Castilian thinks beneath him. 
Between the character of the Castilian and 
the Andalusian, there is as marked a dis- 
tinction as that which exists in the characters 
of any two people inhabiting different king- 
doms ; but I will not anticipate. 

I suspect that among the upper and middle 
ranks in Madrid, religion is as low as morals : 
among them, priestcraft exercises very little in- 
fluence ; and, indeed, ridicule and dislike of all 
orders of religion, form a very common season- 
ing to conversation. There can be no doubt 
that the occupation of the Peninsula by the 

SPAIN IN 18:50. 155 

French army, has gone far towards diminish- 
ing the respect in which the priesthood was 
formerly held by the great majority of all 
classes in Spain. In Madrid, I have never 
heard one individual above the rank of a small 
tradesman, speak with respect, of religion, — or 
with affection, of the priesthood. There can- 
not be the smallest doubt that, in the capital 
at least, both the clergy and the friars are 
sensible of a great diminution in the power 
which they formerly enjoyed ; and their tone 
and bearing are altered accordingly. At pre- 
sent, they, at all events the regular clergy, 
yield a little to the tide that has set in against 
them. I have been surprised to hear the 
freedom with which some of the priests have 
spoken of the state of Spain. 1 have heard 
them particularly lament the difficulties that 
stand in the way of publishing books, and 
admit the oppressive nature of the enactments 
that regard education. The clergy have not 
the same interest as the friars, in supporting 
the present system, because they have not 
the same fears. A revolution that might 
possibly chase every monk from the soil, and 
which would, at all events, des|)oil them of 

156 SPAIN IN 1830. 

their possessions and terminate their dominion, 
would probably but slightly affect the clergy 
of the church ; and I have observed that since 
the French revolution, their fears have di- 
minished. The example of France, in the 
respect it has shewn for the rights of the 
church, they look upon as a guarantee of 
their own security; and perhaps justly. Go- 
vernment still seeks for support in the in- 
fluence of the church, and endeavours, by 
every means, to keep up this influence. This, 
it may easily be supposed, is attempted 
through the medium of education, which, 
throughout Spain, may be said to be a go- 
vernment concern. The schools in Madrid 
are all conducted by Jesuits ; and the educa- 
tion received in them, is such as might be 
expected from their heads. This surveillance 
commenced when the king returned to the 
head of the government, in 1824. The col- 
leges were then remodelled ; and all the pub- 
lic seminaries, even those destined for military 
education, were placed under Jesuit heads. I 
have frequently met in the streets of Madrid, 
long lines of students of the Colegio Imperial, 
and of the Samnario de Noblcfi, some in military 

SPAIN IN 18:30. 157 

uniform, and each company headed by a priest. 
And no choice is left to the people, as to the 
education of their children : the only choice 
is, the government school, or no school ; for 
obstacles, almost insurmountable, are thrown 
in the way of private tuition. Before a family 
dare employ a tutor, the permission of govern- 
ment must be obtained ; and the tutor must 
provide himself with a license : this implies 
minute inquiries into character, political and 
religious opinions, &c. ; so that, in fact, no 
tutor is ever licensed, unless there is a perfect 
security that the system of education to be 
pursued by him, — intellectual, political, and 
religious, — shall be precisely the same as that 
taught in the public seminaries : there is no- 
thing therefore gained by private tuition. 
Whether the priesthood may possibly regain 
any part of its lost influence, owing to the 
present system of education, may admit of a 
question. If Spain should remain in its pre- 
sent condition, without revolution or change, 
it is probable that the growth of liberal 
opinions may be retarded ; the thousands now 
educated on Jesuitical principles, and denied 
the means of real knowledge, were not old 

158 SPAIN IN 1830. 

enough during the existence of the constitu- 
tion, to have caught a glimpse of the light 
which at that time dawned upon the darkness 
of Spain ; nor have they had opportunities 
of being influenced by French principles, 
during the time of the occupation of the Pe- 
ninsula. The policy of the Spanish govern- 
ment, therefore, with respect to its surveil- 
lance of education, is not unworthy of a 
government that desires to maintain itself by 
the blindness of the people. 

The influence of the friars is much greater 
than that of the priests ; though this also 
diminishes daily. I speak of Madrid only. 
In many of the other cities of Spain, of which 
I shall afterwards speak more in detail — par- 
ticularly in Toledo, Seville, Granada, Lorca, 
and Murcia, and in most of the smaller towns, 
I think it almost impossible that the influence 
of the friars could ever have been much greater 
than it is. In Madrid, less attention is paid 
to religious ceremonials and processions, than 
in any other city of Spain: and one sees fewer 
external proofs of the veneration of the people 
for the character of friar. A Franciscan may 
pass from one end of Madrid to the other, 


without having one claim made upon his pater- 
nal blessing by a grown-up person. I have 
seen the Virgin of St. Rosalio, and an image 
of St. Thomas, carried through the streets, 
with some hundreds of friars accompanying 
them, without any one being excited to a 
greater act of devotion than raising the hat 
from the head : and during my morning walk, 
when I invariably looked into the churches 
belonging to whichever of the convents that 
happened to lie in my way, I seldom saw 
more than half a dozen persons at their devo- 
tions. All this is very different at Toledo and 
Seville ; and judging by the difference I have 
observed in the proofs of bigotry apparent in 
the different Spanish cities, I feel myself jus- 
tified in believing that the influence of the 
friars, as well as that of the priests, has sensi- 
bly diminished in Madrid. But it is far 
from being small : it still exists, with less or 
more force, among all ranks : and the breast of 
a friar is still the favourite depository of family 
secrets. From my house, I could see the 
regular visits made by friars to several houses 
within the range of my window ; and little 
children may at all times be seen in the 

160 SPAIN IN 1830. 

street, running after the monk of any order, to 
kiss his hand and beg his blessing. 

There are many reasons why the influence 
of the friars should decline more slowly than 
that of the priesthood: as the first of these 
may be mentioned, the greater immorality of 
the lives of the latter. This immorality is 
notorious throughout Spain ; and, indeed, 
they take little pains to conceal, — I will not 
say their pecadillos, — but the opportunities and 
temptations to commit them, which they create 
for themselves ; and they obtain full credit for 
yielding to these temptations. Perhaps it is 
doing wrong to the clergy to assign to the friars 
greater purity of life than to them ; but what- 
ever may be the immoralities of the monks, 
they have more the art, and they possess 
better opportunities too of concealing them. 
Priests live in the world, and have worse 
opportunities of concealment than other men, 
because their profession lays them open to 
scrutiny ; but friars live in a world of their 
own, fenced round, not only by walls of stone, 
but by a more impenetrable wall of prescrip- 
tive veneration, — and they are very daring 
eyes that pry into the secrets of the cloister. 

SPAIN IN 1830. IGl 

But strange, and even dreadful events, occa- 
sionally occur, to lay open the hidden scenes 
that are transacted within a convent's w^alls. 
One such occurred last September, while I 
was in Madrid. One morning, the Superior 
of the monastery of San Basilio was found in 
bed murdered, — ^his throat cut, his hands tied, 
and several stabs in his body. There could be 
no doubt that the murder had been committed 
by the friars ; and as no pretence could be 
found against instituting an inquiry, a com- 
mission was accordingly appointed to investi- 
gate, and sat during several days. Strange 
disclosures were made : it appeared that the 
superior had been a good man, and remarkably 
strict in the observances enjoined upon the 
order, — too much so for the inclination of the 
friars, who had been accustomed to commit 
every kind of excess, and to transgress in the 
most essential points, the rules of the convent; 
particularly in being absent during the night. 
The superior used to reprove this laxity, and 
exerted his authority to restrain it ; and dis- 
like towards him was naturally produced. In 
these circumstances, no doubt, rested in the 

VOL. I. M 

162 SPAIN IN 1830. 

mind of any one, that the murder was com- 
mitted by the monks ; but it had been re- 
solved, that in some way or other the affair 
should be got rid of. The porter of the con- 
vent, who, previous to the appointment of the 
commission, had declared that no one had 
entered, so qualified his words before the com- 
missioners, that through his evidence, they 
found a loop-hole by which justice might ooze 
out : — he said, that he had some recollection, 
when half asleep, of having seen a person 
enter; but besides the impossibility of any 
one entering, unless the porter had been so 
much awake as to open the gate, the murder 
could not have been committed by one person. 
The result was, that the commission broke up 
without coming to any decision; but as a sacri- 
fice to public opinion, three of the friars were 
committed to prison on suspicion. It was 
well understood that the affair would never go 
further ; and I was assured by the wife of a 
person holding a high official employment, 
that in a few months the imprisoned monks 
would be found again in their convent. When 
the king returned to Spain in 1823, he hanged 
a friar for a murder ; but this was done at that 

SPAIN IN 1830. 1G3 

particular juncture to please the Constitu- 
tionalists ; and while the investigation I have 
mentioned v^^as proceeding, every one knew 
that his majesty dared not venture upon a 
repetition of this. 

A few years ago, a curious expos^ was made 
at Cadiz, which, as I am upon the subject of 
friars, I shall mention in this place. There 
was, and still is, a banker named Gargallo, 
one of the richest men in Cadiz, whose magni- 
ficent dwelling-house is separated from the 
wall of the Franciscan monastery only by one 
small house ; and this house also belonged to 
Sr. Gargallo, although it was not inhabited. 
The master of the house, who though a rich 
man, looked closely into his affairs, perceived 
that his cook's bill greatly exceeded the sum 
necessary for the subsistence of the family; 
and after bearing this during a considerable 
time, he at length discharged his cook. The 
cook applied for service elsewhere ; and upon 
his new master applying to Gargallo for a 
character, he refused to give one, alleging as a 
reason, the dishonesty of his servant : the cook 
enraged at this injustice, and more solicitous 
M 2 

164 SPAIN IN 1830. 

to preserve his own good character than that 
of the friars, returned to Gargallo's house, 
taking witnesses along with him; and aloud in 
the court-yard told this story: that every day 
he had carried a hot dinner into the house 
adjoining, where Gargallo's wife and daughter 
entertained a select party of Franciscan friars ; 
and what was worse still, his late master's 
money had been expended in the support of 
three children and a nurse, who all lived in 
the adjoining house. The truth of this story 
was easily put to the test ; the three children 
and a nurse were found in the house, and the 
whole affair was brought to light. The especial 
favour of the ladies was reserved for only two 
of the friars : the very reverend father Anto- 
nio Sanches de la Camissa, Sacristan Mayor, 
was the favourite of the wife ; and another, 
whose name I forget, but who was next in 
rank to the prior, and had formerly been con- 
fessor in Gargallo's house, was the selection of 
his daughter. These had the entree of Gar- 
gallo's house at all hours ; and in order to 
keep quiet a few others, who were supposed 
to be in the secret, a savoury dinner was pro- 
vided every day for the self-denying Francis- 

SPAIN IN 1830. 165 

cans. Gargallo married his daughter to an old 
apothecary, at Chiclana, where she now lives 
a widow ; and he confined his wife during two 
years in an upper room in his own house ; but 
she now lives again with her husband. At 
the first disclosure of the affair, he wished to 
send both offenders to the Penitentiary ; but 
the captain-general of the province interfered, 
to prevent so much publicity in an affair com- 
promising the character of the Franciscans. 
No notice whatever of this disgraceful trans- 
action was taken in the convent. Both reverend 
fathers continned to bear the character of good 
Franciscans ; and doubtless returned for a time, 
to the austerities of the order, — and when I 
was in Cadiz, one of them every day accom- 
panied Manuel Munoz, the superior, and Ce- 
rillo, who had been banished to Seville, in an 
evening walk. 

But these immoralities of the friars, al- 
though some such are occasionally brought 
to light, and although much that exists is 
hidden, are yet far more rare than the immo- 
ralities of the priests ; and, it is without 
doubt, the greater immorality of the clergy, 
and the greater belief in that immorality. 

166 SPAIN IN 1830. 

that are the primary reasons why the influ- 
ence of the friars diminishes more slowly than 
that of the priesthood. 

Several other reasons might be given, why 
the influence of the friars maintains itself 
better than that of the clergy, in the minds 
of the people, — especially the lower orders: 
one may be stated to be, the known austeri- 
ties practised by some of the orders, particu- 
larly by the Franciscans, the Capuchins, and 
the Carthusians ; another, the greater alms 
given by the convents than by the church ; 
another, the mystery that involves the lives 
and habits of the friars, — for mystery recom- 
mends any thing to the ignorant ; and a 
fourth, which addresses itself to all classes, 
is, the direct tax which the support of the 
clergy imposes. The friars, whether poor or 
not, have the semblance of poverty ; at all 
events, the sources of their revenues are not 
seen to flow into their treasury; and, although 
the nation at large groans under the weight, 
individuals feel no part of it. Such are a few 
of the causes which, in my opinion, operate 
in supporting the influence of the friars ; and 
in diminishing that of the clergy. 

SPAIN IN 1830. 1G7 

Comparatively with the rest of Spain, there 
is little attention paid to the ceremonials of 
religion in Madrid. I often strolled into the 
churches at all hours ; and, excepting at time 
of mass, few were to be seen at prayer. One 
morning I walked into the collegiate church 
of St. Isodro, and found the pulpit occupied 
by a priest, who was exclaiming, apparently 
extempore, and with great vehemence, against 
the sin of religious infidelity. St. Isodro is 
the principal church of Madrid, and yet I do 
not believe there were 300 listeners to the 
discourse ; and of these at least five-sixths were 
women. It is a curious spectacle to see the 
women all sitting upon the ground a la Turqice, 
on little round mats, and every fan in quick 
motion. The entrance of a stranger into a 
church during mass, always creates a sensa- 
tion : a hundred eyes may at any time be 
withdrawn from the contemplation of either 
a preacher or an image, by the slightest pos- 
sible cause. 



The Profession of a Nun ; Reflections ; Description of the Interior 
of a Convent; the Monastic Life ; Description of a Bull-Fight; 
Sketches of Spanish Character ; a Horse Race. 

No one ever visited a Roman Catholic coun- 
try, without feeling some curiosity upon the 
subject of nuns and convents, monks and 
monasteries; and there is certainly no country 
in the world that affords so many incitements 
to this curiosity, or so many facilities for grati- 
fying it, as Spain. Among all the ceremonies 
belonging to the church of Rome, none per- 
haps possesses so much interest in the eyes 
of a stranger, as that which is denominated 
" taking the veil ;" chiefly, because it is the 
only one of them all, that addresses the heart 
more than the eye. I had always felt great 

SPAIN IN 18.30. 169 

curiosity to witness this extraordinary sacri- 
fice of reason and nature, at the altar of bigotry 
and ignorance; but I found the gratification 
of this curiosity more difficult than I had 
imagined. Heretics are no welcome guests at 
such times ; and during the first month of my 
residence in Madrid, I made two unsuccessful 
attempts to witness the ceremony of taking 
the veil ! It fortunately happened, however, 
that the priest whom 1 had engaged at my 
arrival in Madrid, to speak Spanish, and read 
Don Quixotte with me, and with whom I 
passed much of my time, was the officiating 
priest in the convent of Comendadoras de Calci- 
trava; and as I had often expressed a strong 
desire to see a profession, he came one day 
with the welcome intelligence, that in that 
convent, a profession would take place on the 
Sunday morning following ; and as it was his 
dutv to officiate on the occasion, and to ad- 
minister the sacrament to the new sister, he 
had it in his power to gratify my wishes, and 
to admit me at an early hour : and he also all 
but promised, that after the ceremony, I should 
be permitted to see the interior of the con- 
vent — a privilege even greater than the other. 

170 SPAIN IN 1830. 

The chapel of the convent is separated from 
the other apartments by a wide iron grating — 
so wide, that every thing which takes place on 
the other side, is seen as distinctly as if there 
was no separation whatever. I placed myself 
close to this grating some little time before the 
ceremony commenced. 

How many strange, wild, and romantic as- 
sociations are connected with *' taking the 
veil !" The romances of our earlier days, — the 
tales, that professed to reveal the mysteries of 
the cloister, crowd upon our memory : we see 
standing before us the creatures of our imagin- 
ation — the inflexible lady abbess — the trem- 
bling nun — we hear the authoritative question, 
and the timid reply — we see the midnight 
procession, and hear the anthem of sweet and 
holy voices — and a crowd of mysterious and 
half-forgotten dreams and visions float before 
us. Some of these early visions I had learned 
to doubt the reality of, — I had already caught 
occasional glimpses of those mysterious crea- 
tures who inhabit convent walls, without find- 
ing any realization of my vision of charms 
more than mortal. I had learned to know 
that nuns grow old, and that the veil does not 


always shadow loveliness ; but having under- 
stood that the victim about to sacrifice herself 
was scarcely seventeen, I dismissed from my 
mind all the realities that warred with my 
romantic illusions, and recurred to the dream 
of my earlier days. 

At the hour appointed, the abbess entered 
the room on the other side of the grating, 
accompanied by all the nuns, and by several 
ladies, friends and relatives of the novice. She 
entered a moment after ; and immediately 
knelt down, with her face towards the grat- 
ing, so that I had a near and distinct view of 
her. She was attired in the novice's robe of 
pure white, and wore a crown of flowers upon 
her head. She seemed scarcely more than 
sixteen. Her countenance was gentle, sweet, 
and interesting; — there was an expression of 
seriousness, but not of sadness, in her face ; 
and a skin, fairer than usually falls to the lot 
of Spanish women, was sensibly coloured with 
a fine carnation, — the glow of youth, and 
health, and happiness, yet lingering on her 
cheek; and connecting her with the world of 
light, and life, and freedom, about to close 
upon her for ever. 

172 SPAIN IN 1830. 

The administrator now entered by the chapel, 
and placed himself in a chair close to where 
I was stationed, and at the side of an opening 
in the grating of about a foot square. The 
novice then rose, and walking forward to the 
grating, presented him with a paper, which 
he read aloud : this was the act of renuncia- 
tion of all property, then and for ever ; and 
during this ceremony the novice retired and 
knelt as before, holding in her hand a long 
lighted taper, with which the abbess pre- 
sented her. The preparatory service then 
commenced by reading and chanting ; and 
this, although monotonous, was pleasing and 
impressive, according well with the solemnity 
of the scene that had introduced it ; and in 
this service the novice joined, with a clear 
sweet voice, in which nothing of emotion 
could be distinguished. When this was con- 
cluded, the novice again rose, and advanced 
to the grating, and pronounced slowly and 
distinctly the three vows that separate her from 
the world, — chastity, poverty, and obedience. 
Her voice never faltered ; nor could I perceive 
the slightest change of countenance ; the colour 
only, seemed to be gradually forsaking her. 

SPAIN IN 1830. 173 

The lady abbess, who stood close by her side, 
wept all the while. Ah ! if each tear could 
have told why it flowed, what a history might 
have been unfolded. Indignation was the 
feeling produced in my mind. I wished for 
the cannon of the Constitutionalists, to throw 
down these most odious of prisons ; and even 
to the priest, who stood by me in his crim- 
son and gilded surplice, I could not restrain 
myself from saying, half audibly, " Que in- 
famia ! " 

When the vows that could never be re- 
called had been pronounced by this misguided 
child, she stepped back, and threw herself 
prostrate upon the ground, — this is the act 
confirmatory of her vows, — symbolical of 
death, and signifying that she is dead to the 
world. The service was then resumed, — a 
bell continued slowly to toll ; and the priest 
read ; while the nuns who stood around their 
new-made sister, responded, — " dead to the 
world — separated from kindred — bride of hea- 
ven ! " and the nun who lies prostrate is sup- 
posed, at the same time, to repeat to God in 
secret, the vows she has already pronounced 
aloud. When this was concluded, a slow 

174 SPAIN IN 1830. 

organ peel, and a solemn swell of voices rose, 
and died away ; and the abbess then raised 
the nun from the ground, and embraced her ; 
and all the other nuns and her relations also 
embraced her. I saw no tear upon any cheek, 
excepting upon the cheek of the abbess, whose 
face was so full of benignity, that it half re- 
conciled me to the fate of the young initiated 
who had vowed obedience to her. When she 
had embraced every one, she again knelt for 
a few moments^ and then approached the 
grating along with the abbess ; and the priest 
handed to the abbess through the opening, the 
vestments of a nun. Then came the last act 
of the drama: — the crown was lifted from her 
head ; the black vestment was put on, and the 
girdle and the rosary ; and the black hood was 
drawn over her head ; — she was now a nun, 
and she again embraced the abbess and all 
the sisters. Still I could not discover a single 
tear, excepting on the cheek of the abbess, 
who continued to weep almost without ceasing 
to the very end : the countenance of the young 
nun remained unmoved. The crown was 
again replaced upon her head, to be worn all 
that day ; the sacrament was administered. 

SPAIN IN 1830. 175 

and one last embrace by friends and relations 
terminated the scene. 

I had thus seen what I had long felt so 
much anxiety to see, — " taking the veil ;" and 
I found it, at the same time, a stirring and 
a melancholy spectacle : stirring, because it 
filled the mind with indignation against those 
whose cruel and insidious counsel had mis- 
led an innocent girl ; and melancholy, because 
it pointed to a life uncheered by life's sweetest 
charities, — unblest by its holiest ties, — life 
without interest, without change, without 
hope ; its sources of enjoyment dried up; and 
its wells of affection frozen over. 

It is not difficult to account for such sacri- 
fices as this. A young person enters a convent 
as a novice at fifteen or sixteen : this requires 
little persuasion, —the scene is new, and there- 
fore not without its attraction. Mothers, 
sisters, and friends are occasionally seen ; and 
no vow prevents a return to the world. During 
the noviciate, she forms attachments among 
the nuns, who exert themselves to the utter- 
most to please her. The attractions of the 
world are not presented to her, and they are, 
therefore, not felt to be attractions ; and all 

176 SPAIN IN 1830. 

the while, the priests and confessors have been 
labouring to impress her with a notion of the 
excellence of a religious life, — its pure enjoy- 
ment in this world, and its certain and great 
reward in another ; and these arguments are 
enforced by strictures upon the vexations and 
evils of the world without, and the lack of 
enjoyment to be found in it. Such reasoning 
cannot fail to produce its effect upon the mind 
of a young person who has never known the 
world, and who is daily assured by the sisters 
in the convent that they are happy : add to 
this, a certain eclat in taking the veil, — ^ex- 
tremely captivating to a youthful mind, — and 
it will scarcely seem surprising, that when the 
noviciate expires, there should be nothing ter- 
rible, or even very affecting in the ceremonial 
that fixes the destiny of the novice. She 
feels that she is vowing a continuance of the 
same life that she has already led, and for 
which habit may even have taught her an in- 
clination; and her days are to be spent with 
those whom she probably loves more than any 
others without the convent walls. And what 
are the vows, to a child who has entered a 
convent at fifteen ? She vows obedience to 

SPAIN IN 18.10. 177 

one whom she feels pleasure in obeying. She 
renounces property she never enjoyed, and 
whose uses are not understood ; and in vowing 
chastity, she knows only that she is dedi- 
cating herself to heaven. The profession of a 
girl of sixteen or seventeen, is an abomina- 
tion ; and admitted so to be, even by the 
priests. A canon at Seville — nay, more, a 
Dominican friar near Alicante, agreed with 
me in opinion, that no woman ought to be 
permitted to take the veil at an earlier age 
than twenty-four. If a woman who has tried 
the world, and knows its enjoyments and its 
dangers, chooses to renounce it, and retire 
into a convent, she can only accuse herself of 
folly, or bigotry ; but it is altogether a piece 
of villany when a child leaves the nursery to 
begin her noviciate. 

The priest, who had led me to hope that 
I might be permitted to visit the interior of 
the convent, did not disappoint me. This 
convent is one of the most complete, and the 
best fitted up of any in Madrid. No one 
enters it who cannot bring to its treasury a 
considerable fortune ; and its accommodations 

VOL. I. N 

178 SPAIN IN 1830. 

are accordingly upon a scale of corresponding- 
comfort. In company with the priest and the 
porteress, an old nun, I went over the greater 
part of the building. The accommodations of 
each nun consist of a small parlour and a dor- 
mitory adjoining, and a small kitchen. The 
nuns do not eat in company. The dinners 
are separately cooked, and the whole is then 
carried to a public room, where it is blessed ; 
and again carried back to the separate apart- 
ments, where each nun eats alone. The little 
parlours of the nuns are plain and clean ; the 
walls white- washed, and the floors generally 
matted ; but the room is without any fire- 
place, and contains a table and two chairs. 
The beds are extremely small, and extremely 
hard ; and upon the table, in every dormitory, 
there is a crucifix. Among other parts, I was 
conducted to the chamber of the new-made 
nun. The bed was strewn with flowers — 
marigolds and dahlias, — and a crown of jilly- 
flowers lay upon the pillow. Here every 
thing was new ; yet all would grow old along 
with the inmate. A new bright lamp stood 
upon the table ; and as I looked at it, I could 
not avoid the picture that presented itself in 

SPAIN IN 1830. 179 

fancy, — the dull light falling upon the white 
wall ; and the silent inmate of the chamber 
with her book and rosary, through the long- 
chill evenings of winter; — what a contrast 
from the picture of a cheerful home ! 

The rooms of the nuns all look into the 
garden. Those in front are occupied by ladies 
who have not taken the veil, but who have 
retired from the world, and who live there 
in tranquillity and seclusion. Many of these 
rooms are prettily fitted up, and contain small 
libraries, altogether of religious books, and a 
few pictures of the same character. In going 
through the convent, I saw two of the nuns, — 
old, disagreeable, ill-favoured women, — the 
younger sisters were not visible, excepting the 
new-made nun, who seemed that day to be 
allowed the range of the convent ; for I saw 
her, with her crown still upon her head, in 
her own chamber, in one of the corridors, and 
in the garden : she looked quite happy. After 
having been conducted through almost every 
part of the convent, I was introduced into the 
refectory, and presented with wine and cake. 
I shall never forget the taste of that cake; it 
N 2 

180 SPAIN IN 1830. 

seemed to me, to taste of the tomb ; and crum- 
bled in one's hand like something touched by 
the finger of decay. 

The order to which this convent belongs, is 
not so strict as many others. The chief differ- 
ence in strictness between one order and 
another, consists in the more rigid observance 
of fasts, the number of meagre days, the obli- 
gation to night prayers, and the rules as to 
solitude and society. In some of the orders, 
dispensation from the vows of poverty and 
obedience may be obtained ; and such dispen- 
sations occasionally are obtained, — if, for ex- 
ample, the labour or service of a nun should 
be required for the support or comfort of a des- 
titute or aged mother. Dispensation from the 
vow of chastity is scarcely to be obtained ; yet 
even this has sometimes been known. Last 
year, a lady of high family who had taken the 
vows in Barcellona, obtained a general dispen- 
sation, and married, — it is said that she was 
never happy ; and she died a few months after- 
wards. It may easily be supposed, that long 
accustomed prejudices, and a superstitious 
bias, acting upon the imagination, might pro- 
duce disastrous effects both upon mind and 

SPxVIN IN I8;50. 181 

body. Ill the case of the late Countess Ofalia, 
a dispensation was also obtained. She was 
five years a nun. She entered the convent at 
the age of fourteen ; and the dispensation was 
granted upon the ground of her youth, and 
also because her consent was supposed to have 
been extorted. This lady had, fortunately, 
less superstition than the other. She left the 
convent at nineteen; and married the Count 
Ofalia, with whom she lived happily. 

During the French government in Spain, 
under Joseph Buonaparte, and also during the 
time of the constitution, the doors of the con- 
vents were open to whosoever might choose to 
go again into the world : it is said, that not 
more than two in Madrid, and four or five 
throughout the rest of Spain, availed them- 
selves of this privilege. This is scarcely to 
be wondered at ; superstitious fears, and con- 
scientious scruples, interfered no doubt with 
the wishes of many ; others had grown grey 
within their convent walls, and to whom 
could they return ? Some, M'ho might yet 
have found enjoyment in the world, had no 
means of living in it, having renounced their 
inheritance ; and many, no doubt, had con- 

182 SPAIN IN 1830. 

tracted a partiality for a religious life, and 
were actuated by pious motives. 

Next to the curiosity I had felt to witness 
the profession of a nun, was my curiosity to 
witness an exhibition of a very different kind : 
the spectacle of a bull-fight. This is one of 
the many things that are to be seen in Spain, 
and in no other country in the world ; and, 
however barbarous the spectacle must seem 
to every one but a Spaniard, it is, neverthe- 
less, one of so stirring and so extraordinary 
a kind, that 1 think it would almost repay a 
journey to Madrid, even if the traveller set 
off next morning upon his return. 

The bull-fight is the national game of Spain; 
and the love of the Spaniards for this spec- 
tacle, is almost beyond belief. Monday, in 
Madrid, is always, during the season of the 
bull-fights, a kind of holiday; every body 
looks forward to the enjoyments of the after- 
noon ; and all the conversation is about los 
toros. Frequency of repetition makes no differ- 
ence to the true amateur of the bull-fight ; he 
is never weary of it; at all times he finds 
leisure and money to dedicate to his favour- 
ite pastime. The spectacle is generally an- 

SPAIN IN 1830. 183 

nounced, in the name of his majesty, to begin 
at four o'clock ; and, before three, all the 
avenues leading towards the gate of Alcala, 
are in commotion ; the Calle de Alcala, in 
particular, throughout its whole immense ex- 
tent, is filled with a dense crowd, of all ranks 
and conditions, pouring towards the gate : a 
considerable number of carriages are also seen 
— even the royal carriages ; but these arrive 
later : and there are also many hack cabri- 
olets, their usual burden being a peasant, and 
two girls, dressed in their holiday clothes ; 
for there is no way of shewing gallantry so 
much approved among the lower orders, as 
treating to a bull-fight ; and when this is car- 
ried so far as to include a drive in a red and 
gilded cabriolet, the peasant need sigh no 

I had been able to secure a place in one of 
the best boxes, through the kindness of one 
of my friends; and, some little time before the 
fight begun, I was comfortably seated in the 
front row, with quite enough to occupy my 
attention, until the commencement. The 
spectacle was most imposing. The whole 
amphitheatre, said lo contain 17,000 persons. 

184 SPAIN IN 1830. 

was filled in every part, round and round, 
and from the ground to the ceiling ; carrying 
the imagination back to antiquity, and to 
*' the butcheries of a Roman holiday." The 
arena is about 230 feet in diameter ; this is 
surrounded by a strong wooden fence, about 
six feet in height, the upper half retiring about 
a foot, so as to leave, in the middle of the 
fence, a stepping- place, by which the men 
may be able, in time of danger, to throw 
themselves out of the arena. Behind this 
fence, there is an open space about nine feet 
wide, extending all the way round, meant as 
a retreat; and where also the men in reserve 
are in waiting, in case their companions 
should be killed, or disabled. Behind this 
space, is another higher and stronger fence 
bounding the amphitheatre, for the spectators; 
from this fence the seats decline backward, 
rising to the outer wall ; and above these are 
the boxes, which are all roofed, and are, of 
course, open in front. Those on the east side, 
which are exposed to the sun, (for the spec- 
tacle always takes place in the evening), have 
awnings ; but these are insufficient to screen 
the spectators from the heat ; and accordingly, 

SPAIN IN 18.30. J85 

the price of the places on the west side, is con- 
siderably more than the price of those exposed 
to the sun. Below, in w^hat may be called the 
pit, the difference in price, according to sun or 
shade, is still greater, because there are there 
neither coverings nor awnings : so important, 
indeed, is this distinction considered, that 
there is not only one price for places in the 
sun, and another for places in the shade, but 
there is an intermediate price for places partly 
in the sun and partly in the shade, — exposed 
to the sun during the first part of the evening, 
but left in shade the latter part of it. The 
best places in the boxes cost about 4*. ; the 
best in the amphitheatre below, about 2so 6d. ; 
the commonest place, next to the arena, costs 
four reals. In the centre of the west side, is 
the king's box ; and scattered here and there, 
are the private boxes of the grandees and 
amateurs, distinguished by coloured silk dra- 
pery hanging over the front. In the boxes, I 
saw as many women as men, — and in the 
lower parts, the female spectators were also 
sufficiently numerous ; all wore mantillas : 
and in the lower parts of the amphitheatre 
which were exposed to the sun, every spec- 

186 SPAIN IN 1830. 

tator, whether man or woman, carried a large 
circular paper fan, made for the occasion, and 
sold by men who walk round the arena before 
the fight begins, raising among the spectators 
their long poles, with fans suspended, and 
a little bag fixed here and there, into which 
the purchaser drops his four quartos (lid). 

The people now began to shew their im- 
patience, and shouts of el toro were heard in a 
hundred quarters ; and soon after, a flourish 
of trumpets and drums announced that the 
spectacle was about to commence. This 
created total silence, — one of the results of 
intense interest, — and the motion of the fans 
was for a moment suspended : — First entered 
the chief magistrate of the city, on horseback, 
preceded by two alguacils, or constables, and 
followed by a troop of cavalry, who imme- 
diately cleared the arena of every one who had 
no business there ; next, an official entered on 
foot, who read an ordonnance of the king, com- 
manding the tight, and requiring order to be 
kept ; and these preliminaries having been 
gone through, the magistrates and cavalry re- 
tired, leaving the arena to the two picadores, 
who entered at the same moment. These are 

SPAIN IN 1S30. 187 

mounted on horseback, — each holding- a Jong- 
lance or pike, and are the first antagonists 
the bull has to encounter; they stationed them- 
selves on different sides of the arena, about 
twenty yards from the door at which the bull 
enters ; and at a new flourish of trumpets, the 
gate flew open, and the bull rushed into the 
arena : this produced a deafening shout, and 
then total silence. The bulls differ very 
widely in courage and character : some are 
rash, — some cool and intrepid, — some wary 
and cautious, — some cowardly. Some, im- 
mediately upon perceiving the horse and his 
rider, rush upon them ; others run bellowing 
round the arena, — some make towards one or 
other of the Chulos, who at the same moment 
that the bull appears, leap into the arena with 
coloured cloaks upon their arms ; others stop, 
after having advanced a little way into the 
arena, look on every side, and seem uncertain 
what to do. The blood of the bull is generally 
first spilt: he almost invariably makes the first 
attack, advancing at a quick trot upon the 
picador, who generally receives him upon his 
pike, wounding him somewhere about the 
shoulder. Sometimes the bull, feelinjj- himself 

188 SPAIN IN 1830. 

wounded, retires, to meditate a different plan 
of attack ; but a good bull is not turned back 
by a wound, — he presses on upon his enemy, 
even if in doing so, the lance be buried deeper 
in his flesh. Attached to the mane of the bull 
is a crimson ribbon, which it is the great object 
of the picador to seize, that he may present 
to his mistress this important trophy of his 
prowess. I have frequently seen this ribbon 
torn off at the moment that the bull closed 
upon the picador. 

The first bull that entered the arena, was a 
bad bull: he was deficient both in courage 
and cunning : the second, was a fierce bull of 
Navarre, from which province the best bulls 
are understood to come ; he paused only for a 
moment after entering the arena, and then 
instantly rushed upon the nearest picador, 
who wounded him in the neck ; but the bull 
disregarding this, thrust his head under the 
horse's belly, and threw both him and his rider 
upon the ground : the horse ran a little way; 
but encumbered with trappings, he fell, — and 
the bull, disregarding for a moment the fallen 
picador, pursued the horse, and pushing at 
him, broke the girths and disengaged the 

SPAIN IN 1S30. 189 

animal, which finding itself at liberty, galloped 
round the arena — a dreadful spectacle, covered 
with gore, and its entrails trailing upon the 
ground. The bull now engaged the chulas : 
these young men shew great dexterity and 
sometimes considerable courage, in the running 
fight, or rather play, in which they engage the 
bull, — flapping their cloaks in his face,^ — 
running zig-zag when pressed, and throwing 
down the garments to arrest his progress a 
moment, and then vaulting over the fence, — an 
example which is sometimes followed by the 
disappointed animal. But this kind of war- 
fare, the bull of Navarre seemed to consider 
child's play, — and leaving these cloaked anta- 
gonists, he made furiously at the other picador, 
dexterously evading the lance, and burying 
his horns in the horse's breast : the horse and 
his rider extricated themselves, and galloped 
away ; but suddenly the horse dropped down, 
the wound having proved mortal. The bull, 
victorious over both enemies, stood in the 
centre of the arena, ready to engage another ; 
but the spectators, anxious to see the prowess 
of the bull directed against another set of 
antagonists, expressed their desire by a mono- 

190 SPAIN IN 1830. 

tonous clapping of hands, and beating of sticks, 
a demonstration of their will perfectly under- 
stood, and always attended to. 

The banderilleros then entered : their busi- 
ness is to throw darts into the neck of the 
bull ; and in order to do this, they are obliged 
to approach with great caution, and to be ready 
for a precipitate retreat ; because it sometimes 
happens that the bull, irritated by the dart, 
disregards the cloak which the banderillero 
throws down to cover his retreat, and closely 
pursues the aggressor. I saw one banderillero 
so closely pursued, that he saved himself only 
by leaping over the bull's neck. The danger, 
however, is scarcely so great as it appears to 
the spectator to be ; because the bull makes 
the charge with his eyes shut. The danger 
of the picador who is thrown upon the ground, 
is much greater ; because, having made the 
charge, the bull then opens his eyes, and the 
life of the picador is only saved by the address 
of the chulos, who divert the attention of the 
victor. Generally, the banderilleros do not 
make their appearance until the bull appears 
by his movements, to declme the combat with 
the picadors; which he shews by scraping the 

SPAIN IN 1830. 191 

ground with his feet, and retiring. If the bull 
shew little spirit, and the spectators wish that 
he should be goaded into courage, the cry is 
"fitego,''' and then the banderilleros are armed 
with darts, containing a kind of squib, which 
explodes while it sticks in the animal's neck. 

When the people are tired of the banderil- 
leros, and wish to have a fresh bull, they 
signify their impatience in the usual way, and 
the signal is then given for the matador, whose 
duty it is to kill the bull. The matador is in 
full court dress, and carries a scarlet cloak 
over his arm, and a sword in his hand : the 
former he presents to the bull ; and when the 
bull rushes forward, he steps aside and plunges 
his sword in the animal's neck ; at least so 
he ought to do, but the service is a dangerous 
one, and the matador is frequently killed. 
Sometimes it is impossible for the matador to 
engage upon equal terms a very wary bull, 
which is not much exhausted. This was the 
case with the sixth bull which 1 saw turned 
out : it was an Andalusian bull, and was both 
wary and powerful. Many times the matador 
attempted to engage him, but witiiout success ; 
he was constantly upon the watch, always 

192 SPAIN IN 1830. 

disregarding the cloak, and turning quick 
round upon the matador, who was frequently 
in imminent danger. At length the people 
were tired of this lengthened combat, and 
seeing no prospect of it ending, called for the 
semi-luna, an instrument with which a person 
skulks behind, and cuts the ham- strings of 
the animal : this the bull avoided a long while, 
always turning quickly round ; and even after 
this cruel operation was performed, he was 
still a dangerous antagonist, fighting upon his 
knees, and even pursuing the matador. The 
moment the bull falls, he is struck with a 
small stiletto, which pierces the cerebellum ; 
folding doors, opposite to those by which the 
bull enters, are thrown open, and three mules, 
richly caparisoned and adorned with flags, 
gallop in ; the dead bull is attached by a hook 
to a chain, and the mules gallop out, trailing 
the bull behind them : this is the work of a 
moment, — the doors close, — there is a new 
flourish of trumpets ; and another bull rushes 
upon the arena. 

And how do the Spaniards conduct them- 
selves during all these scenes? — The intense 
interest which they feel in this game is visible 


SPAIN IN 1830. 193 

throughout, and often loudly expressed ; an 
astounding shout always accompanies a critical 
moment : — whether it be the bull or the man 
who is in danger, their joy is excessive ; but their 
greatest sympathy is given to the feats of the 
bull. If the picador receives the bull gallantly, 
and forces him to retreat ; or if the matador 
courageously faces, and wounds the bull, they 
applaud these acts of science and valour : but 
if the bull overthrow the horse and his rider; 
or if the matador miss his aim, and the bull 
seems ready to gore him, their delight knows 
no bounds. And it is certainly a fine spectacle 
to see the thousands of spectators rise simul- 
taneously, as they always do when the interest 
is intense : the greatest and most crowded 
theatre in Europe presents nothing half so 
imposing as this. But how barbarous, how 
brutal is the whole exhibition ! Could an 
English audience witness the scenes that are 
repeated every week in Madrid ? — a universal 
burst of " shame ! " would follow the spectacle 
of a horse, gored and bleeding, and actually 
treading upon his own entrails, while he gal- 
lops round the arena : even the appearance of 
the goaded bull could not be borne, — panting, 

VOL. I. o 

194 SPAIN IN 1830. 

covered with wounds and blood, lacerated by 
darts, and yet brave and resolute to the end. 

The spectacle continued two hours and a 
half; and during that time, there were seven 
bulls killed, and six horses. When the last 
bull was dispatched, the people immediately 
rushed into the arena, and the carcass was 
dragged out amid the most deafening shouts. 

The expenses of the bull-fights are great ; 
but the receipts far exceed them, leaving a 
very handsome sum for the benefit of the hos- 
pital, which, it is said, draws a revenue from 
these entertainments of 300,000 reals, (3000/. 
sterling). Some persons begin to afiect a 
dislike of the bull-fight, but they go to it not- 
withstanding ; and I think I may venture to 
say, from my own observation, that this na- 
tional entertainment is not yet on the decline. 
The king occasionally goes ; Don Carlos rare- 
ly ; but Don Francis and his wife are generally 
to be seen there ; and I noticed, that the 
private boxes of the nobility were as well 
filled as any other part of the house. On 
leaving the amphitheatre, 1 counted forty- 
five private carriages in waiting. 

A few weeks afterwards, I was present at 

SPAIN IN 1830. 195 

another bull-fight. I have no intention of 
describing this also; but I gathered some in- 
formation from it that had escaped me upon 
the former occasion. This time, I paid more 
attention to the demeanour of the people, than 
to the fight ; and instead of securing a place 
in the boxes, I took my seat in the commonest 
division, that I might the better observe the 
character of the lower orders. It is not at all 
unusual for those of the nobility who are 
amateurs of the bull-fight, to place themselves 
among the lowest classes ; a true lover of the 
bull-fight likes to be under no restrictions, 
but to express his delight as loudly as a pea- 
sant. In that place he is at his ease ; he gives 
himself up to the full enjoyment of his passion ; 
he applauds, he condemns, and gives vent to 
his joy like the people that surround him. 
This is true happiness to him. It is said that 
Don Francis occasionally disguises himself; 
and enjoys, even though Infante, the pleasure 
of a water-carrier. 

At this fight, all the bulls were indifi'erent 
excepting one ; but he proved himself a per- 
fect master of the science. He rushed first 
o 2 

196 SPAIN IN 1830. 

at one picador and then at the other, and over- 
threw both the horses and then' riders; killing 
both horses, and wounding one of the pica- 
dores. Two fresh picadores immediately ap- 
peared ; and these, he served in a precisely 
similar way : but the overthrow was more 
tragical — one of the horses and his rider were 
raised fairly into the air; and the horse falling 
so as to crush the rider between its body and 
the fence, he was killed upon the spot. The 
bull was now master of the arena ; he had 
cleared it of men — three horses lay dead — and 
he stood in the midst, lashing his tail, and 
looking round for another enemy. This was 
a time to observe the character of the people. 
When the unfortunate picador was killed, in 
place of a general exclamation of horror, and 
loud expressions of pity, the universal cry was 
'' Que es bravo ese totv!" Ah, the admirable 
bull ! — the whole scene produced the most un- 
bounded delight ; the greater horror, the greater 
was the shouting, and the more vehement the 
expressions of satisfaction — I did not perceive 
a single female avert her head, or betray the 
slightest symptom of wounded feeling. Acci- 
dents do not occur so frequently as a spec- 

SPAIN IN 1830. 197 

tator would be apt to imagine : danger is in 
fact more apparent than real, because those 
who engage the bull are well trained to the com- 
bat. There is, both in Madrid and at Seville, 
a regular school of instruction, where those 
destined for Las Corridas, practise the art 
with young animals ; and excepting the mata- 
dores, who are occasionally killed, no other of 
the combatants runs great risk from the bull. 
When the picador is killed, the catastrophe 
is always occasioned by the horse falling 
upon his rider, or crushing him against the 

Every time I attended a bull-fight, I was 
more and more impressed with a conviction 
of its cruelty and brutality. It is improperly 
termed a fight, because the bull has never a 
chance of victory and escape ; it is merely 
a massacre, — and the series of abominable 
cruelties exhibited in the treatment of the 
horses, stamps the whole with a character of 
brutality and barbarism, sufficient, in my 
opinion, to separate Spain from the list of 
civilized nations. It is not merely the atro- 
cities that an interested contractor for the bull- 
fights may permit, — not merely that the pica- 

198 SPAIN IN 1830. 

dor continues to ride upon an animal bathed 
in blood, and whose entrails trail upon the 
ground, — but that the Spanish people can 
witness and tolerate such barbarity. I do 
not wish to seem prejudiced; but I cannot 
believe that there are many among the very 
lowest ranks in this country who would not, 
at such a spectacle, cry out " kill him !" It 
was proposed by the present queen to en- 
velope the horses in a net, by M'hich the most 
disgusting part of the exhibition would have 
been concealed ; but this was a refinement 
which it was thought would not be relished 
by the mob, and I believe it was never at- 
tempted. By the horses having no power of 
defence, and by their being deprived of the 
means of consciousness of their condition, the 
cruelty of the spectacle is increased. Towns- 
liend, that very respectable and accurate 
writer, is in error when he speaks of the cou- 
rage shewn by the horses in facing their ene- 
mies : this, if true, would give a character of 
greater nobility to the entertainment ; but the 
horses know neither their enemies nor their 
danger; their eyes are blinded, and their ears 
are tied up. If the horses were netted round 

SPAIN IN 1830. 199 

the body, and if they were led off the arena 
when wounded ; if their eyes were uncovered, 
that when the rider was unhorsed, they might 
have a chance of escape, in place of stand- 
ing to be gored, unconscious of the vici- 
nity of the enemy, — if the semi-luna were 
discontinued; — and, above all, if a valiant bull, 
which could unhorse two picadores without 
being Avounded, and parry two or three thrusts 
of the matador, were allowed the reward of 
its victory — life : then the bull-fight would 
be divested of much of its barbarism, without 
losing, but, on the contrary, greatly adding to 
the interest which it at present possesses. 

It is impossible to witness a spectacle like 
this, without being impressed with a convic- 
tion that such exhibitions must produce some 
influence upon the character of a people. One 
would naturally argue that there must be an 
affinity between the character of a people and 
their amusements, especially since we actually 
find this affinity among several savage nations ; 
and yet I should be doing gross injustice to 
the Spanish character, if I said that any such 
affinity existed in Si)ain. There is nothing 
of deliberate cruelty in the character of a 

200 SPAIN IN 1830. 

Spaniard, — less hard-heartedness than I have 
found among most other nations: — he invari- 
ably treats his mule with the utmost kindness, 
he is mindful even of his dog and his cat. The 
murders which are so frequent in the south 
of Spain, are the result of an irascible temper, 
brandy, and a hot climate ; but are never de- 
liberate : and the robberies, which originate 
in poverty, and which bad laws encourage, 
are rarely attended by violence. All this is a 
riddle, — nor is it less a riddle, that the females 
who can look unmoved, and even with plea- 
sure, upon scenes from which a woman of any 
other nation turns away disgusted, do not pos- 
sess less refinement than the females of other 
countries. Generally speaking, the character 
of the Spanish woman is kind and compas- 
sionate ; and even among the lower ranks, I 
have heard sentiments that would do honour 
to the women of those countries that are 
esteemed the foremost in refinement. 

The first attempt at a horse race in Madrid, 
was made last autumn ; and as I am upon the 
subject of diversions, I shall give a slight 
sketch of the Spanish mode of conducting 
these things. The ground chosen for the race. 

SPAIN IN 1830. 201 

was a sandy road, extending from the bridge 
of Toledo along the canal. The road is a 
common cart road, covered with stones, and 
full of ruts ; and the distance was about two 
miles. A large concourse of persons was at- 
tracted to the spot by the novelty of the enter- 
tainment. There were between two and three 
hundred horsemen, and upv/ards of twenty 
carriages on the ground : among others, the 
handsome equipage of the Duke of San Carlos, 
the owner of one of the horses, an English 
mare, called Pensive. Her only opponent 
was a Spanish horse. Pensive was ridden by 
a jockey, dressed in the English fashion ; the 
horse, by a Spanish groom, in the dress of a 
peasant. Pensive was a very indifferent 
animal, but had seen better days, and would 
have been distanced at a sixth-rate English 
race. Before starting, the horses were held 
by a man at the head of each, and at a signal, 
they were let go. The greatest possible 
anxiety was shewn by the spectators, that the 
English mare might be beaten ; but it came 
in two or three lengths before its opponent. 
This created extraordinary disappointment ; 
but the crowd resolved that the next heats 

202 SPAIN IN 1830. 

should be different ; and they carried their 
resolution into effect. They, formed an avenue 
just wide enough for the horses; and as the 
Spanish horse passed, every one struck it with 
a stick, a whip, a stone, or whatever was at 
hand, and so urged it on ; and partly owing 
to this, and partly owing to some carts inter- 
cepting the road, the Spanish horse gained 
both heats. This triumph was followed by 
loud acclamations ; and so intemperate was 
the mob in its joy, that the grossest insults 
were offered to the carriage of the Duke of 
San Carlos as he left the ground. I heard it 
reported, that the Duke intended to take the 
field again with better horses, and upon better 
ground; and that horse races in Madrid would 
re-commence at a future time, under the pa- 
tronage of one of the Infantes. 



A slight sketch of the life of Murillo, will not 
be considered an unappropriate introduction 
to some notice of his principal works, yet to 
be found in the Picture Gallery of Madrid; 
and in the churches, convents, and hospitals 
of Seville. 

EsTABAN Murillo, the prince of painters, 
was born at Seville, on the 1st of January, 
1618. The small town of Pilm, in Andalusia, 
has disputed this honour with Seville ; but 
the claim of Pilas to this distinction has pro- 
bably arisen from the fact, that his mother 
was from Pilas, and that he inherited, through 
her, some property in that neighbourhood. 
But it is of little importance whether the 
courtly Seville, or the lowly Pilas, gave birth 

204 SPAIN IN 1830. 

to Murillo ; they may feel equally honoured 
in his name, for the name of Murillo belongs 
to his country. How he acquired the name 
of Estaban, has also been matter of dispute : 
some say he derived it from his father, who, 
it is said, was called Gaspar Estaban Murillo ; 
and others are of opinion, that he took the 
name of his maternal uncle ; but this dispute 
is of even less importance than that respect- 
ing the place of his nativity. Neither of the 
Estabans are now alive, to claim the honour 
of such a name-son ; and Murillo's honours 
are independent of his kindred. 

Great painters, more than any other class 
of eminent men, have given intimation, during 
childhood, of the distinction to which they 
have afterwards attained ; and if the chroni- 
cles and traditions of Murillo record truly, his 
infancy did not form an exception. This fact 
is not difficult to account for ; because, at the 
earliest age, the genius of the painter finds 
facilities for displaying itself. The infant 
musician to whom nature has denied a vocal 
talent, cannot, without an acquaintance with 
some instrument, convey a knowledge of his 
powers ; still less can the infant poet embody 

SPAIN IN 1830. 205 

poetic conceptions, without an acquaintance 
with language : but the painter finds, every 
where around, the means of giving expression 
to his thoughts : a dark and a light substance 
are all he requires ; and in Spain, where the 
walls of the rooms are almost universally 
white-washed, the infant Murillo could find 
no obstacle to the indulgence of his genius. 

The parents of Murillo saw no good likely 
to arise from an inclination for daubins: the 
walls, and scratching the brick floors ; and 
did all that lay in their power to discourage 
it ; but the boy knew his calling, and still 
continued to disappoint the hopes of his father, 
M'ho had destined him for the church ; and to 
exhaust the patience of his mother, who, as it 
is said, returning one day from mass, found 
that her only picture, which she prized highly 
— an infant Christ and a lamb — had suffered 
an extraordinary transformation. Murillo had 
taken the glory from the head of the Christ, 
and substituted his own little hat, intending 
to represent himself; and the lamb he had 
converted into a dog — an animal in which he 
took great delight. Murillo was then too 
young to be conscious of any impiety in this 

206 SPAIN IN 1830. 

transformation ; the bent of his mind through 
life, was wholly averse from this : but his 
parents, despairing of a cure, thought it ad- 
visable to let him have his own way, and sent 
him to the house of his kinsman, Juan cle Cas- 
tillo, who undertook to teach the youthful 
Murillo the first principles of design and 

This Castillo was no despicable hand ; 
especially in the art of colouring, for a know- 
ledge of which, he was partly indebted to Luis 
de Varjas, who had sometime before returned 
to Seville from Italy, bringing along with him 
the knowledge which he had acquired in 
Florence. Besides the youthful Murillo, Cas- 
tillo could boast of several other disciples 
in his school ; particularly Pedro de Moya, — 
of whom, more hereafter, — and Alonzo Cano, 
whose freedom of touch, natural design, and 
charming colouring, afterwards secured for him 
a high rank among Spanish painters. But 
Murillo, whdse genius was of still a loftier 
kind, soon supplanted his companions in the 
favour of his master, by the yet more rapid 
progress which he made in the art ; but he 
continued, notwithstanding, to discharge the 

SPAIN IN 1830. 207 

menial offices of grinding the colours, cleaning 
the brushes, and preparing the canvas, — such 
being the original conditions upon which he 
had been admitted into his relation's work- 

There was at this time much rivalry among 
the masters in Seville, each of whom had a 
school in his own house, — and this rivalry was 
fully partaken by their pupils ; for the reputa- 
tion of the schools necessarily depended, in 
a great measure, upon the proficiency of the 
pupils. Murillo felt deeply interested in the 
honour of his kinsman's school ; and he, pro- 
bably perceiving in his young disciple, a pro- 
mise of excellence that might afterwards 
reflect honour upon himself, was the more 
assiduous in his instructions ; so that, after a 
few years, Murillo had well nigh exhausted 
the information whicli his master was able to 

But at this time Castillo suddenly quitted 
Seville to reside in Cadiz ; his school was 
broken up, and Murillo was left without a 
master. It is probable that the most import- 
ant moment of his life, — that upon which has 
hinged his future character,— was, when feeling 

208 SPAIN IN 1830. 

the helplessness of his condition, he me- 
ditated upon his future prospects, and pre- 
sent necessities ; and asked himself that plain 
question, which must be put and answered 
by all who are situated like him, " What shall 
I do?" How much depended upon this re- 
solve ! for often has genius been extinguished 
because no friendly hand was by, to fan the 
flame yet struggling for existence, — often dis- 
couraged, by being left to grope its way in 
darkness. Some in Murillo's condition, might 
have abandoned a profession that held out 
no solid advantages ; and others, would have 
sought a new master. But Murillo, whether 
from a confidence in his own powers, or from 
an unwillingness to enter any of those other 
schools which had been rivals to Castillo's, 
came to a resolution more fortunate for himself 
and for the world : he determined to throw 
himself upon his own resources, and to trust 
in his genius. 

It happened, at this time, to be the fair at 
Seville, at which season there was always a 
demand for devotional pictures, both for the 
uses of the pious at home, and for exportation 
to America. But these pictures were always 

SPAIN IN 1830. 209 

of the most wretched description, and painted 
by the lowest artists ; and with so much haste, 
that it not unusually happened that some 
favourite saint was painted during the time 
that the devout purchaser bargained for the 
price ; nor was it a rare occurrence that the 
painter should be required to change a Mag- 
dalen into a Madonna ; a Virgin into St. An- 
thony of Padua ; or a group of cherubs into 
the souls in purgatory. Murillo took his place 
in the fair, and painted whatever was required, 
at whatever price was offered ; and there can 
be little doubt that this varied and rapid prac- 
tice gave a freedom to the pencil, and a facility 
in the expression of ideas, which years of 
study under a master might have failed to 

Murillo had now attained his twenty-third 
year ; and at this time a circumstance occurred, 
which had an important influence upon his 
future career ; this was, the arrival in Seville 
of Pedro de Moya. It will be recollected, 
that Pedro de Moya was a co-disciple with Mu- 
rillo, in the school of Castillo ; but he had, some 
years before, and while Murillo was still a 
pupil, left it and Seville ; and had subsequently 

VOL. I. p 

210 SPAIN IN 1830. 

gone to Flanders as a soldier, with a greater 
disposition to see the world than to paint. 
But his natural propensities had only been 
suspended by the desire of novelty, so natural 
to youth : for meeting in Flanders with the 
works of Van Dyk, and other eminent Flemish 
masters, he returned to his profession, and 
became a disciple of that great painter, under 
whom he acquired those graces, with which 
he returned to Seville, to excite the admira- 
tion and the hopes of Murillo. 

Murillo, struck with the improvement of his 
former companion, set himself to imitate his 
style ; but fortunately for Murillo, who might 
otherwise have degenerated into a copyist, 
Moya soon quitted Seville, and he was left 
to his aspirations and his difficulties. Con- 
scious of his own great imperfections, he had 
obtained a glimpse of what might be the re- 
ward of courage and perseverance ; and his 
desires suggested many projects for their gra- 
tification. It is a trying, and yet a happy 
moment for genius, that in which humility 
and pride arise together, bringing with them 
the discovery, that the past has been a blank 
leaf in existence; but begetting a desire to 

SPAIN IN 1830. 21 1 

turn over another, and to fill it with things 
that shall never be blotted out. Such was, 
doubtless, the state of the young painter's 
mind, when he resolved upon quitting his 
native city, and seeking in Flanders, or Italy, 
the opportunities by which he might hope to 
realise his dream of fame. 

But Murillo was without money, and with- 
out friends ; and how could he travel to Flan- 
ders or Italy ? His reputation in Seville, as a 
painter, was small ; for although his practice 
of working for the fair, had in reality increased 
his powers, it was little likely to add to his 
respectability ; and it was a question, there- 
fore, not easily solved, how he should obtain 
the means of effecting his design. But even 
in this extremity, courage did not desert him ; 
and an expedient was found, by which he 
might modestly replenish his purse. He pur- 
cliased a large piece of canvas; primed it him- 
self; and dividing it into unequal parts, painted 
upon it, every possible variety of subject, — 
saints, landscapes, animals, flowers, — but par- 
ticularly devotional pieces. With this trea- 
sure, he went to Cadiz, to tempt the masters 

p 2 

212 SPAIN IN 1830. 

of the India vessels. Among so many sub- 
jects, the taste of every one could find some- 
thing to gratify it, and he returned to Seville 
without any of his canvas, and with a little 
stock of pistoles. 

Murillo did not now delay a moment longer 
the execution of his purpose. Communicating 
his design only to his brother, who lived at 
Seville in the house of an uncle, he left his 
native city at the age of twenty-four, to return, 
and afterwards enrich it with undying memo- 
rials of that genius which is the glory of Spain, 
and the just pride of the city where it was 
chiefly exercised. 

It is a long and toilsome journey from Se- 
ville to Madrid ; and many must have been 
the anxious thoughts that filled the mind of 
the adventurer; but the predominating feeling 
would doubtless be buoyant, for youth and 
genius are fertile in hope. We think we see 
the young painter leave his native town, — 
long visible in the majestic tower of the cathe- 
dral, at which he often turns round to gaze. 
We follow his steps (for his journey was per- 
formed on foot) up the banks of the Guadal- 
quivir, flowing towards his home ; we see him 

SPAIN IN 1830. 213 

with his scanty supplies toiling up the defiles 
of the Sierra Aloraia, and looking upon the 
other side, over the wide plain o{ La Mancha; 
and we see him with a quickened step, hasten 
towards the capital, when he first descries its 
towers in the midst of the desert that sur- 
rounds it. 

Velasquez was, at this time, first painter to 
the king's bed-chamber, and highly esteemed 
at the court of Philip IV. ; he was then past 
the prime of life, and almost beyond its vicis- 
situdes ; and surrounded by friends, and full 
of honours, he could feel no jealousy of the 
friendless boy who came to him for advice and 
protection. Murillo no sooner arrived in 
Madrid, than he bethought himself of waiting 
upon Velasquez ; and he found in this good 
man, and excellent painter, a friend who in- 
stantly became his guide; and who never 
deserted him, even when the progress of the 
pupil seemed to point out a rival of his own 

Velasquez questioned Murillo as to his fa- 
mily, his studies, his knowledge, his motives, 
and his wishes ; and, like a true lover of his 
art, admiring the spirit and enthusiasm which 

214 SPAIN IN 1830. 

were disclosed in the answers of Murillo, and 
approving the motive of his journey, — and, 
doubtless, discovering in his conversation, 
tokens by which a man of Velasquez's ex- 
perience and knowledge, might draw a pre- 
sage of his future greatness, he took the young 
painter under his roof as a pupil, a friend, and 
a countryman. Murillo did not accept the 
hospitality of Velasquez without immediately 
proving himself worthy of it. The object of 
Ills journey was uppermost in his thoughts ; 
and Velasquez, without delay, afforded him 
the requisite facilities for prosecuting his de- 
sign. He sent him to the different palaces, 
and to the convent of the Escurial, that he 
might see, and study, the pictures of the great 
masters ; and directed him to select such as 
he might be ambitious of copying ; and by 
this, Velasquez could not fail to obtain farther 
insight into the bent of his genius, and would 
even be able to judge better of its extent. 
What a moment for Murillo, when, entering 
the sacristy of the Escurial, he first beheld the 
works of Raphael, and Da Vinci, and Titian, 
and Paul Veronese ! 

The three years that followed the arrival of 

SPAIN IN 1830. 215 

Murillo in Madrid, afford little incident for 
the biographer. During these years, he was 
no doubt laying the foundation of his future 
eminence, by practising his pencil and his 
eye among the excellent models to which he 
had access ; among whom, no one was a 
greater favourite with Murillo than his kind 
friend and patron, Velasquez. It is certain, 
that he also highly esteemed the genius of 
Titian ; and although he adopted no exclu- 
sive model, his admiration of that great head 
of the Venetian school is discernible in many 
of his works. 

It appears, however, that Murillo did not 
confine himself to the study of these two mas- 
ters, but that he also occupied himself with 
the works of Van Dyk, and of Rebera (Espa- 
noletto) ; for when Velasquez accompanied 
the king into Catalunia, Murillo, upon his 
return, shewed him three copies from pictures 
of Van Dyk, Rebera, and himself. These 
were presented to the king; and surprised 
equally the court and Velasquez, by their 
fidelity, and the excellence of their execution ; 
so much so, that Murillo is said to have been 

216 SPAIN IN 1830. 

advised to occupy himself henceforward with 
the works of only these masters. 

But the time now approached, when Mu- 
rillo should no longer copy the works of 
others; but when he should himself become 
a model for the imitation of succeeding ages. 
At the return of Velasquez from a second 
journey, in which he had accompanied the 
king to Saragossa, he was so much struck 
with the progress of his protegi, that he told 
him he could gain nothing more by a resi- 
dence in Madrid; and advised him to travel 
to Rome, to which city he offered, to furnish 
him with letters of recommendation, and other 
advantages ; not the least of these, being the 
command of his purse. 

The true reason of Murillo's rejection of 
this advice, it is impossible to ascertain ; but 
he had resolved upon returning to his native 
city. It has been commonly said, that the 
importunities of a brother whom he highly 
esteemed, and certain domestic causes, recalled 
him: but it seems more probable, that his 
determination was the result of an internal 
conviction, that he had already accomplished 

SPAIN IN 1830. 217 

the end for which he left the place of his 
nativity : and it is also possible, that a disin- 
clination to be a farther debtor for the good 
offices of Velasquez, without which he could 
not have journeyed into Italy, — may have had 
its influence. Velasquez, although not ap- 
proving the determination of his young friend, 
did not oppose his design ; and Murillo re- 
turned to his native city. 

It chanced, that at this time the Franciscan 
friars desired to have eleven historical pic- 
tures, to adorn the Claustro Chico of their con- 
vent; but, as the sum to be paid for these, arose 
solely from alms which a devout person had 
collected for the purpose, it may be supposed 
that the painter who might undertake to exe- 
cute the order, could not expect a very liberal 
remuneration. Accordingly, the principal 
painters then in Seville, shewed no great dis- 
position to engage in the work ; and the friars, 
failing to secure the talents of any of those 
who had the reputation of being the first 
masters, found themselves obliged to be con- 
tented with an inferior hand, and applied to 
Murillo, who, being then more needy than his 
brethren, willingly undertook the commission, 

218 SPAIN IN 1830. 

ill which he no doubt perceived other advan- 
tages than the paltry remuneration proposed 
to him. 

No sooner was this order executed, than 
Murillo found the reward of his perseverance, 
and a repayment of all his anxieties and diffi- 
culties. The utmost surprise was excited in 
Seville ; he was universally courted ; the per- 
formances of his pencil were greedily sought 
after; and he at once found himself the ac- 
knowledged head of the schools of Seville. 
This was indeed an hour of pride for the 
friendless artist, who, a few years before, had 
cast himself and his fortunes upon the wide 

But another reward awaited Murillo, — the 
hand of Donna Beatrix de Cabrera y Soto- 
mayor, a lady of Pilas, possessing many virtues, 
great sweetness of temper, and mistress of a 
considerable fortune. Her claims to beauty have 
been doubted ; for no picture of her is known to 
be extant : the story, however, which is related 
respecting the manner in which he won her, 
is rather at variance with this supposition. It 
is said that Murillo, having occasion to visit 
Pilas, on account of some property which had 

SPAIN IN 18:50. 219 

descended to him in right of his mother, saw 
the Donna Beatrix ; and struck with the sweet- 
ness of her countenance, and her other graces, 
became enamoured of her. Her station in life, 
liowever, was higher than his own ; and de- 
spairing of a successful issue, he was trying 
to efface the impression she had made, when 
a circumstance occurred that renewed the re- 
collection of her, by suggesting a means of 
advancing his suit. He accepted an order to 
paint the altar-piece for the church of St. 
Geronimo, at Pilas ; and in the countenance 
of an angel, he painted that of his mistress. 
This delicate gallantry is said to have won the 
heart of the Donna Beatrix. The story may, 
or may not be true ; but it is chronicled in 

From the time of Murillo's marriage, he 
appears to have run a constant career of glory ; 
advancing in true excellence, and in public 
estimation. His style suffered some changes 
during this career; but always towards per- 
fection; improving in sweetness and delicacy, 
and in warmth and richness of colouring. The 
earliest celebrated pitture of Murillo, after his 
first change in style, was The Conception, for 

220 SPAIN IN 1830. 

the Franciscan convent ; from the archives of 
which, it appears that he received for it the 
sum of 2500 reals (25/. sterling) ; a small sum 
even in those days ; but it is probable that 
Murillo might have taken into consideration, 
the reputed poverty of the order ; and this is 
the more probable, since shortly after, in 1656, 
he painted the great picture of St. Anthony of 
Padua, for the baptismal altar of the cathedral 
of Seville, for which he received 10,000 reals 
(100/. sterling). But the most glorious epoch 
in the career of Murillo, was later in life : it 
was between 1670 and 1680, that he painted 
for the hospital De la Caridad, his Santa Isa- 
bella, the Prodigal Son, the Miracle of the 
Loaves and Fishes, Moses Striking the Rock, 
John of God, and others, that are looked upon 
as the most excellent ^of his works. The 
twenty-five celebrated pictures also, that adorn 
the Capuchin convent in Seville, were the pro- 
duction of his ripest genius ; but they were 
painted antecedently to the pictures of the 
Caridad; and to those who are conversant with 
the works of Murillo, there is a still more per- 
fect charm in the latter. The highest price 
that Murillo appears to have received for any 

SPAIN IN 1830. 221 

picture, is 15,975 reals, — a little more than 
150/. sterling. This he received for the Mira- 
cle of the Loaves and Fishes. 

In the year 1658, eleven years after his re- 
turn to Seville, Murillo projected the establish- 
ment of an academy of painting in his native 
city. This project was warmly opposed by 
many, especially by Herrera, who had newly 
returned from Italy, filled with high, and 
doubtless just notions, of the greatness of the 
Italian schools ; and looking with suspicion 
upon a school, whose founder had never tra- 
velled beyond Spain. But the genius of Mu- 
rillo, at length conquered the prejudices of 
Herrera ; and the academy was opened on the 
1st of January, 1660, with Murillo at its head, 
as first president. It may be mentioned, as 
an instance of the painter's modesty, that in 
the list of members of the institution, drawn 
out by himself, the name of Herrera appears 
at the head of the list. 

There is one passage in the life of Murillo, 
connected, too, with some of the greatest 
efforts of his genius, upon which there appears 
to hang a mystery. I allude to that period 
during which he painted the twenty-five pic- 

222 SPAIN IN 18.30. 

tures that adorn the Capuchin convent. The 
usual version of the story is, that Murillo, 
finding himself in some difficulty, took refuge 
in the Capuchin convent ; and in return for 
the protection afforded him by the monks, 
dedicated his talents to the embellishment 
of their church. But it is difficult to give 
credence to this. Murillo led a blame- 
less life ; and ever after his marriage, his 
pecuniary circumstances were flourishing. 
What, therefore, could be the necessity that 
obliged Murillo to take refuge in a convent, it 
is impossible to conjecture. At the same 
time, it is certain that in that convent there 
are twenty-five of Murilio's pictures ; and in 
the archives of the convent, there is no record 
of any sum having been paid for these. It is 
certain, too, that the tradition is steadily 
maintained within the convent, that Murillo 
was an inmate of it during two years. The 
monks even relate little traits of his character 
and habits; and a picture of St. John, the 
Virgin, and Child, is shewn by them, — painted 
upon a table napkin ; and it is certain that the 
picture is Murilio's. The only solution of 
these difficulties is, that upon the death of his 

SPAIN IN 1830. 223 

wife, which took place some time previous to 
the year 1G70, he retired for a time to the Ca- 
puchin convent; for it is impossible to believe 
that he was never an inmate of it. The event 
which really took place in the life of Herrera 
(hermoso) may perhaps have given rise to the 
false version of the story of Murillo. Herrera 
was forced to take refuge in the church of the 
Jesuits at Seville ; and his genius has adorned 
its walls. 

I must not omit the mention of an anecdote 
that is generally related of Murillo. At the 
time that he lived near the church of Santa 
Cruz, it contained, in one of its chapels, 
the well-known '' Descent from the Cross," 
by Pedro Campana, now adorning one of the 
altars in the cathedral. It is said that Mu- 
rillo was accustomed to spend much of his 
time in that church, in admiration of this 
painting ; and that one day, the Sacristan 
being about to close the gates, and finding 
Murillo there, asked him what detained him 
so long in tliat chapel ; to which Murillo is 
said to have answered, " Estoij espcramlo que 
cstos santos varones acabcn de baxar at Scfior dc 
la Craz.'" — I am waiting until these holy men 

224 SPAIN IN 1830. 

take down the Lord from the Cross ; — a com- 
pliment, perhaps, scarcely merited by the 
picture of Campaiia, and therefore probably 
never paid by Murillo. 

The last picture that engaged the hand of 
Murillo, was one which he undertook for the 
Altar Mayor of the Capuchin convent at Cadiz. 
This was in the latter end of the year 1681 ; 
but he did not live to complete the work. 
While engaged upon this picture, he fell from 
the scaffold, and was so much injured, as to 
be obliged to return to Seville. But the shock 
he had received, aided by declining years, pro- 
duced disease ; and his illness increased until 
the evening of the third day of April in the 
following year, when he expired in the arms 
of his friend and disciple, Don Pedro Nunez de 

From the will of Murillo, preserved in the 
Franciscan convent of Seville, it appears that 
he left little property besides that which he 
acquired by his marriage. This was be- 
queathed to his sons ; for his only daughter 
had taken the veil early in life. In this will, 
there is also contained an inventory of his 
pictures, among which one of himself is men- 

SPAIN IN 1830. 225 

tioned. This picture, now in the possession 
of Mr. Williams, of Seville, represents Murillo 
about the age of thirty, nearly the time of his 
marriage, and conveys a very pleasing idea of 
the appearance and character of the painter. 
The proprietor, himself an excellent artist, 
and an intelligent man, has made a masterly 
drawing from the original : the drawing is in 
the possession of Mr. Brackenbury, his Bri- 
tannic majesty's consul at Cadiz; and from 
that gentleman's admiration of Murillo, it may 
be hoped, that an engraving from it may soon 
enable every admirer of that illustrious man 
to have the gratification of possessing his 

The character of Murillo, as a painter, can 
scarcely be separated from his character as a 
man: humility, kindness, benevolence, were 
conspicuous in him; and these are also seen 
in the choice of his subjects. Undoubtedly 
one of the greatest among the many charms 
of Murillo, consists in the beauty of his inven- 
tion; his subjects seldom fail to interest the 
benevolent feelings: we have affection in all 
its varieties — charity under its many forms; 

VOL. I. Q 

226 SPAIN IN 1830. 

and even in subjects purely divine, he con- 
trives to throw over them a human interest. 
Never was affection more touchingly deli- 
neated, than in the picture of St. Felix, the 
Virgin, and Child, in the Capuchin convent 
of Seville; in which the virgin, after having 
put the infant into the arms of the holy man, 
that he might bless him, — stretches out her 
own, that he may be restored to a mother's 
embrace. Nor were ever love and benevo- 
lence more beautifully blended, than in the 
picture of '' Santa Isabella, Queen of Portu- 
gal, curing the sick and wounded," wherein 
the old woman watches, with a mother's 
anxiety, the cure of her wounded son. And 
where shall we find charity, and its reward — 
the favour of Heaven — more impressively dis- 
played, or more powerfully conceived, than in 
the picture of " John of God." This has al- 
ways seemed to me, one of the happiest illus- 
trations of the genius of Murillo. '*John of 
God" is supposed to have gone, as was his 
usual practice during the night, to seek and 
succour objects of distress. The picture re- 
presents the Saint, carrying on his back a 
wretched being, whom he had found in his 

SPAIN IN 1830. 227 

walk, and bending under the weight of his 
burden; but suddenly, feeling himself relieved 
of a part of his load, he looks round, and sees 
by the miraculous light that encircles his hea- 
venly visitant, that an angel has descended, to 
assist him in his work of charity. 

Innumerable examples might be given from 
the works of Murillo, of that peculiar charm 
which consists in investing spiritual subjects 
with a human interest. Murillo never painted 
a virgin and child without blending a mother's 
human love, and the pride of a mother in 
her human child, with the expression of 
divinity, and with the loftier pride of having 
given birth to the Son of God. Nor in any 
representation of scenes in the life of Christ, 
did Murillo ever forget to unite the human 
with the divine character. In the great paint- 
ing, also, of '* Moses striking the Rock," in 
the Hospital de la Caridad, there is a fine ex- 
emplification of the excellence of which I have 
been speaking. This miracle is not made a 
mere display of power ; Murillo has intro- 
duced into it many varieties of human feeling 
—the anxiety of those who wait for the ac- 


228 SPAIN IN 1830. 

complishmeiit of the miracle — the burning 
impatience, and eager importunities of thirst, 
and its contrasted satisfaction. 

This peculiar charm of Murillo, consisting 
in his choice of subjects, has made him a 
painter for all men ; for all, at least, who have 
human emotions to be excited, and human 
affections to be touched. But this is only one 
excellence of Murillo; and standing apart from 
others, it might belong to any man of bene- 
volence and fine imagination, however indif- 
ferent a painter he might be. Murillo possesses, 
besides, that rare union of high qualities, some 
of them pre-eminently his own, which has 
made him one of the first of painters in the eye 
of the learned, and of all those who have loved 
and studied the divine art. 

The most striking excellence in the concep- 
tion of Murillo's figures is Nature, accom- 
panied by Grace; but never, as in some of the 
Italian masters, grace running into affectation : 
— and what is there to desire more in the 
conception of a picture, than perfect nature 
and perfect grace, without any alloy of affec- 
tation? In the combination of these excel- 
lences, Titian, among all the Italian masters, 

SPAIN IN 1830. 229 

most nearly resembles Murillo ; but if a pic- 
ture of this eminent master be placed beside 
a picture of Murillo, executed in his ripest 
years, the former appears feebler ; this is pro- 
bably owing to the unapproachable excellence 
of Murillo's colouring, which combines the 
brilliancy of the Flemish, with the truth of 
the Venetian. Looking at the greatest efforts 
of Murillo's pencil, there seems nothing left 
to desire. An invention noble and touching ; 
a conception natural and graceful ; a compo- 
sition just, elegant, correct ; a colouring rich 
and true ; and over all a delicacy, a spiritu- 
ality, a beauty, — arising from the blending of 
the whole, — that leave the mind satisfied, but 
which never satiate the eye. 

There are few painters so difficult to copy 
as Murillo; although, perhaps, few masters 
have had more copies attributed to them. The 
greater number of these are said to be pictures 
in Murillo's early style ; but the colouring 
may always be detected; for it is that which 
constitutes the chief difficulty to him who de- 
sires to copy this master. The Italian masters 
are, almost without exception, easier to copy 
than Murillo, because their colouring is more 

230 SPAIN IN 1830. 

simple. Murillo's colouring, although appear- 
ing simple, is extremely artful ; and this the 
copyist speedily discovers. Many pictures 
of the Italian schools convey an idea of a 
marbly surface ; but the pictures of Murillo, 
executed at the epoch of his greatest excel- 
lence, convey the idea of flesh and blood. 
This effect cannot be produced by one colour, 
or one lay of colours ; nor even in perfection 
by the glazing, of which Titian used to avail 
himself : the effect is produced by one colour 
shining through another ; and by the skilful 
use of these, Murillo has often given to his 
ground, or back colour, the effect of air, in 
place of an opaque body ; and the artist who 
attempts to imitate Murillo by a mixture of 
colours, will find it impossible to equal the 
effect of the original. 

It is a common idea, that in Spain, the 
pictures of Murillo are scarce ; and that the 
galleries, churches, and convents, have been 
despoiled of their greatest treasures. This 
idea is very erroneous. Spain has, no doubt, 
been robbed of some of her choicest paintings, 
and some have found their way into other 
countries as objects of traffic ; but the Penin- 

SPAIN IN 1830. 231 

sula is still rich in the works of Murillo. In 
the gallery of Madrid, of which I shall pre- 
sently speak, there are thirty pictures of Mu- 
rillo's, two-thirds of them at least, undoubted 
originals. In the Cabinet of Natural History, 
three of the greatest productions of his pencil 
are found. In private collections in Madrid, 
particularly in those of the Duke of Medina 
Cceli, the Duke of Liria, Sir John Meade, 
and some other individuals, there may be 
nearly an equal number. In Seville, the 
twenty-five pictures painted for the Capuchin 
convent, are all in their places. In the hospi- 
tal de la Caridad, there are four of Murillo's 
greatest productions. The collection of Mr. 
Williams of Seville, is distinguished by twelve 
Murillos; and in other private houses in 
Seville, perhaps as many more may be found. 
In the cathedral there are six or eight; and 
in Cadiz, in the possession of Mr. Brackenbury 
— in Murcia,— and particularly in Valencia, 
Murillos may be discovered by any lover of 
the fine arts, whose inquiries are directed 
towards that object. 

The present government of Spain watches 
over the works of Murillo with a jealousy, that 

232 SPAIN IN 1830. 

is not shewn in any thing else that concerns 
the prosperity or the honour of the country. 
By a late government order, the works of Mu- 
rillo are prevented from leaving Spain ; but as 
bribery is able to conquer many difficulties in 
that country, the exportation of pictures is not 



The Picture Gallery ; the Works of Murillo ; the Annunciation ; 
the Virgin instructed by her Mother ; Landscapes ; Velas- 
quez and his Works ; Meeting of Bacchanalians; the Forges 
of Vulcan ; Espanoletto, and his Works ; Villavicencio ; 
Juanes ; Alonzo Cano ; Cerezo ; Morales ; Juanes' Last Sup- 
per; the Modern Spanisli School; Aparicio ; the Famine 
in Madrid; Itahan Gallery ; Flemish School ; the Sola Reser- 
vada; Statuary; Cabinet of Natural History; Sola Reser- 
vada ; the Patrician's Dream; the Desengano de la Jlda ; 
Private Collections; the Duke of Liria's Gallery; Churches 
and Convents ; Church of San Isodro ; San Salvador ; Santa 
Maria; SanGines; Santiago; San Antonio de Florida; Con- 
vent of Las Salesas ; de la Kncarnation ; the Franciscans ; 
Santa Isabella; Hidden Pictures; San Pasqual ; Santa Te- 
resa ; the Palace. 

Since the erection of the splendid building 
dedicated to the reception of pictures, most of 
those which formerly adorned the palaces, 
have been transferred to it ; and Madrid can 

234 SPAIN IN 1830. 

now boast of a gallery equal in extent, and 
perhaps little inferior in excellence, to any of 
the other great galleries in Europe. To the 
lover of the Spanish school, the gallery of 
Madrid possesses attractions which no other 
can offer. Besides forty-two pictures of Mu- 
rillo, it contains fifty-five of Velasquez, twenty- 
nine of Espaholetto, seventeen of Juanes, 
six of Alonzo Cano, and many of Ribalta, 
Cerezo, Villavicencio, Moralez, &c. ; other 
saloons contain between four and five hundred 
pictures of the Italian schools, and about three 
hundred of the Flemish school ; and in the 
Sala Reservada, there are several dief (Tceiwres 
of Titian and Rubens. At present, I return to 
the Spanish school, to notice first, a few of the 
most distinguished works of Murillo. 

The first we remark is ** A Holy Family," a 
picture taken away by the French, and after- 
wards restored. The invention in this picture 
is in the highest degree original : we have not 
a mere uninteresting group ; but life and feel- 
ing. The infant Jesus — Jesus, but yet a human 
child — holds a bird in his hand, which he 
raises above his head, to save the little fa- 
vourite from a dog that tries to seize it : Saint 

SPAIN IN 1830. 235 

Joseph holds the child between his knees ; 
and the Virgin, who is engaged in some female 
employment, lays aside her work, that she 
may admire the playfulness of her son. This 
picture is admirably suited for shewing Mu- 
rillo's chaste and charming conception of 
female heads and children. 

Passing over "An Infant Christ," ''A John 
Baptist," and "The Conversion of St. Paul," 
all three, but especially the second, admirable 
pictures, the next strikingly fine work of Mu- 
rillo's is "The Annunciation." This is con- 
sidered, and with justice, a very finished com- 
position. The angel Gabriel announces his 
heavenly message while the Virgin is reading; 
and in her countenance, as she turns to hear 
the announcement of Divine will, Murillo has 
happily displayed the blending of human sur- 
prise, with the sudden illumination of divinity 
that fills her mind. 

A " Mother of Griefs," and a " Magdalen 
Seated in the Desert," the latter, a picture in 
Murillo's best style of colouring, might be 
next named ; but I pass to " The Martyr- 
dom of the Apostle St. Andrew," which may 
vie with the most celebrated pictures of this 

236 SPAIN IN 1S.30. 

master. While the Saint is extended on the 
cross, the heavens open and the seraphim de- 
scend, bearing the palm branch and the crown 
of martyrdom. The blaze of celestial light 
which shines upon the martyr, and its contrast 
with the chiaro sciiro, are unrivalled in their 
effect. In the design and conception too, 
there is great beauty of thought, particularly 
in illuminating the martyr with the same 
celestial light that encircles the heavenly 

" The Adoration of the Shepherds," and the 
" Infant Jesus and St. John," are both worthy 
of an eulogium ; the one for its force and har- 
mony of colouring, the other for its charming 
simplicity. But one more beautiful than these 
is " the Virgin receiving a Lesson in Reading 
from her mother, Saint Anne." This possesses 
in a peculiar degree, Murillo's excellences of 
nature and grace. It is all human, as it ought 
to be ; and the divine calling of the Virgin is 
only known by two heavenly cherubs hovering 
above, and dropping a crown of roses upon the 
head of the unconscious child. 

Besides these more striking pictures of 
Murillo, there are several others of great merit. 

SPAIN IN 1830. 237 

" Eliezar and Rebecca," two or three "Con- 
ceptions," heads of St. Paul and of John the 
Baptist, the Vision of St. Bernard, and two 
landscapes. The landscapes of Murillo are at 
least curious. His proficiency in this depart- 
ment was probably acquired in his early years, 
when, at the fair of Seville, he painted what- 
ever his customers demanded. 

** A Gipsy and a Spinster," also in the gal- 
lery, are specimens of that other class of 
pictures by which Murillo is known to many 
who have not been in Spain. These pictures 
being smaller, and not preserved by the 
jealousy of the convents, more easily find their 
way into other countries ; accordingly, in this 
style, we find some of the choicest morsels of 
Murillo in foreign galleries ; in Munich, in the 
Dulwich gallery, and elsewhere. 

This slight enumeration affords but a very 
imperfect glimpse of the pleasure which the 
admirer of Murillo will find in the gallery of 
Madrid ; but in other collections, and espe- 
cially in Seville, I shall have occasion to re- 
turn to the works of this head of the Spanish 
schools ; and at present I must proceed to 

238 SPAIN IN 1830. 

notice briefly the pictures of Velasquez, and 
others, in the Madrid gallery. 

Velasquez, the worthy rival, and, in many 
points, the equal of Murillo, whose master he 
was, differs in many respects from his pupil. 
He studied in Italy; and there acquired that 
knowledge of the antique, which is by some 
esteemed above the greater simplicity and 
unaffected grace that distinguish the works of 
Murillo. In Velasquez, thought and invention 
are not so spiritual as in his pupil, but his com- 
position is more learned ; and in his colouring, 
he is not excelled even by Titian. His colours 
often disappear under his brush, because they 
become in reality the thing which he desires 
them to represent. 

One of, but not the most extraordinary com- 
position of Velasquez in the Madrid gallery, is 
" A Meeting of Bacchanalians." One in the 
midst of his companions, is seated across a 
barrel, which is his throne; he is crowned 
with vine-leaves, and presents a similar crown 
to another, who receives, with a kind of mock 
respect, this order of knighthood. There is 
extraordinary truth in this picture ; in fact. 

SPAIN IN 1830. 239 

the painter makes the spectator one of the 
party; he laughs in spite of himself, and 
almost feels as if he too had drained some 
bowls to the memory of Bacchus. 

'' The Infanta Margaritta-Mary of Austria," 
is one of the most splendid compositions of 
Velasquez. Velasquez is himself represented 
with his pallet and brushes, painting the In- 
fanta; and to distract the attention of the 
infant princess from the portrait, two dwarfs, 
and her favourite dog, are made to enter the 
apartment. This picture, in composition, de- 
sign, and colouring, is absolutely perfect. 

Several portraits of Philip the Fourth, the 
friend and patron of Velasquez,— particularly 
one upon horseback, — and one exquisite por- 
trait of the Duque de Olivares, his prime 
minister, deserve the highest eulogium : a mag- 
nificent portrait also, which has obtained the 
appellation of " Esop ;" " a Suitor for a Place," 
who, in a garment of worn-out black, presents 
his memorial ; a portrait of a *' Dwarf and a 
Great Dog," the " Surrender of the Town of 
Breda," and a " Manufactory of Tapestry," in 
which the painter has introduced a charming- 
female countenance, are all excellent in their 

240 SPAIN IN 1830. 

kind ; but the most striking of all the pictures 
of Velasquez in this gallery is, The Forges of 
Vulcan. The god of fire is at his forge, sur- 
rounded by his Cyclopes, when Apollo brings 
him intelligence of his wife's dishonour, and 
his own. The attitude and expression of 
Vulcan, are in Velasquez most powerful 
manner. He turns round as if scarcely cre- 
diting the message of infamy ; but his dark 
countenance, which seems to grow darker as 
the spectator looks upon it, expresses that jea- 
lousy has taken possession of him ; his ham- 
mer rests idle in his hand, and the Cyclopes, 
also, suspend their work to listen. The scene 
is the more striking from the true and brilliant 
colouring; the red light falling upon the group, 
and contrasting with the darkness of the sub- 
terranean world beyond. It is a pity that 
such a picture should contain any striking 
fault; and yet it is impossible to avoid per- 
ceiving that the Apollo is weakly conceived. 

I have not even named the titles of the 
greater number of Velasquez pictures ; but 
these few, although not better painted than 
many others, are more striking, owing to their 
subjects. The lover of portraits also, will 

SPAIN IN 1830. 241 

find ample gratification in the many excellent 
works of this master, which adorn the gallery 
of Madrid. 

Of the works of Esparioletto, the Madrid 
gallery contains several chef cCoeiwres. This 
painter was born near Valencia, in the year 
1589; he was first the pupil of Ribalta, and 
afterwards, at Rome, of Caravaggioo The 
style of Esparioletto is, perhaps, more than 
any other painter, opposed to that of Murillo. 
Simplicity, and the graces of nature, are no 
where to be found in his works, which are 
forcible, — often verging upon the terrible ; and 
whose object seems to be, rather to seize the 
imagination than to touch the heart. But the 
painting of Esparioletto, after he had seen the 
productions of Correggio, lost much of that 
exaggerated manner which the lessons of Ca- 
ravaggio had taught him ; and in his later 
styles, he has produced pictures which unite 
force with many other excellences. Among 
the best of this master's works in the Madrid 
gallery are, St. Peter the Apostle weeping for 
his sins ; in which the design, the composition, 
and the colouring, are all excellent; — Jacob's 

VOL. I. R 

242 SPAIN IN 1830. 

Ladder, in which the author shews that he 
has profited by a study of the works of Cor- 
reggio;^ — '* The head of a Priest of Bacchus," 
full of character and vigour; — and " Saint Se- 
bastian," in the last and best manner of the 
painter. Besides these pictures, there are 
many in the author's first exaggerated style ; 
such as " Prometheus bound," ''a Magdalen in 
the Desert," and " Christ in the Bosom of the 
Eternal ; " which, if not pleasing, are at least 
interesting, as contrasts with the improved 
style of Espanoletto's later compositions. 

There are still other pictures in the gallery 
which must not be passed over ; but I shall 
not classify them. '* Children Playing at 
Dice," by Villavicencio, the disciple of Mu- 
rillo, and in whose arms he died ; — a picture 
full of nature and naivete, and charmingly 

"The Visitation of Saint Elizabeth," by 
Juanes. Juanes is, undoubtedly, one of the 
greatest of the Spanish painters after Murillo 
and Velasquez ; and this, as well as others of 
his compositions, is entitled to rank imme- 
diately after the works of these two masters. 

*' Saint John the Evangelist writing the 

SPAIN IN 1830. 243 

Revelations in the Isle of Patmos," by Alonzo 

A "St. Francis in ecstasy," by Cerezo, who 
was an excellent painter ; and who, in design 
and colouring, sometimes approached Van Dyk. 

" The Virgin and the Infant Jesus." By 
Morales, sometimes called '* The divine." 

An incomparable " Head of Christ, crowned 
with Thorns," by Juanes. 

" A Dead Christ," by Alonzo Cano. 

" A St. Francis," by Ribalta. 

*' The Entombment of St. Etienne, ' by 
Juanes, a picture which partakes largely of 
the graces that distinguish the school of 
Raphael and his followers. 

" The Supper," by Juanes. This is con- 
sidered the chef (Voeuvre of the author, and was 
taken by the French, and afterwards restored. 
Love and devotion have seldom been more 
beautifully painted than in this picture. 

" Jesus Interrogated by the Pharisees, 
touching the Tribute," by Arias. 

A saloon is dedicated to the modern Spanish 
school ; containing the pictures both of the 
living masters, and of those who have lived 
within the last forty or fifty years. It is im- 

R 2 

244 SPAIN IN 1830 

possible to look upon these pictures without 
feeling more and more the excellences of those 
painters, who now live only in their works ; 
for in the modern Spanish school, there is little 
to remind us of Murillo and Velasquez ; or 
even of Juanes, Cano, or Morales. Difficult as 
it must be admitted to be, to imitate the unap- 
proachable excellences of Murillo, it is sur- 
prising nevertheless, that the attempt to do this 
should scarcely ever be made. After the death 
of Murillo, as well as during his lifetime, there 
were innumerable artists, who, although con- 
scious of the immeasurable distance at which 
they followed, yet, thought it wisdom pa- 
tiently to seek the traces of his footsteps : and 
it is a merit of no ordinary kind, if a painter 
can earn the character of being a follower of 
Murillo ; because this at least proves, that he 
is able to appreciate, even if he cannot ap- 
proach, his excellences. But in looking 
through the gallery of the modern school, not 
one picture can be found, of which it may be 
said, "this is in the style of Murillo." 

Aparicio and Lopez are the painters who at 
present enjoy the highest reputation ; but 
neither of these will suffer a comparison with 

SPAIN IN 1830. 245 

Bayeu, who died thirty-five years ago, or with 
Goya, who has long since retired from a pro- 
fessional life, but who still lives at Bourdeaux. 
As little can the pictures of Bayeu or Goya 
be compared with the compositions of the 
ancient school. 

The two great pictures of Aparicio are, 
'' The Glories of Spain," and " The Famine 
in Madrid," — and both are more in the style 
of the modern French, than of the ancient 
Spanish school. The latter of these is intended 
to represent (as the author of it says), " The 
Triumph of Spanish Constancy." During the 
time of the French invasion, in the winter of 
1811-12, the famine that raged in Madrid, 
almost realized what we read, of ancient Nu- 
mantia ; and many examples of heroic patriot- 
ism are recorded of this time. The painter 
has chosen the following : — an old man, ex- 
tenuated, and apparently dying, is stretched 
upon the ground ; and the dead bodies of his 
daughter, and his grandson are at his feet : 
three French soldiers passing by, touched with 
compassion, offer him food ; but he, disdaining 
to accept food from the enemies of his country, 
covers his face with his hands, that he may 

246 SPAIN IN 1830. 

not be temjDted, and prefers death to what he 
considers dishonour. 

The subject is undoubtedly fine, and the 
picture has many merits ; but it is impossi- 
ble, in looking at any picture, the moral of 
which is intended to convey an abhorrence of 
French dominion in Spain, not to feel that we 
cannot give our sympathy to it ; and the same 
feeling has led me, in walking over those fields 
of battle that have been fields of glory for 
England and Spain, to ask ''where are the 
fruits"? They are nowhere to be found : the 
purchase-money was the blood and treasure 
of England : and what did they purchase ? — 
the deeper degradation of Spain. 

That part of the gallery which is appro- 
priated to the Italian schools, 1 shall pass 
over almost without notice; not because there 
is nothing in it worthy of being mentioned, 
but because I could hope to add nothing to 
what is already universally known of the cha- 
racter of the great Italian masters. In the 
Italian saloons, there are many copies, and 
many re-touched pictures ; but there are also 
a considerable number of sterling composi- 
tions. Guido, Andrea del Sarto, Giordano, 

SPAIN IN 1830. 247 

Guercino, Leonardo da Vinci, Bassano, Alex- 
ander Veronese, Sachi, Salvator Rosa, Tinto- 
retto, Titian, and Raphael, all contribute of 
their abundance. The most remarkable of 
these pictures, is the portrait of Mona Lisa, 
a lady of incomparable beauty, and the wife 
of Francisco Giocondo, a gentleman of Flo- 
rence. This picture cost 180,000 reals. 

In the saloon dedicated to the Flemish, 
German, and French schools, there are also 
some fine originals ; particularly, two Claudes; 
a Bacchanalian piece, of Nicholas Poussin, 
remarkable for the excellence of its desisfn, 
and its inimitable harmony ; " David and 
Goliah," also by N. Poussin; and "The 
Adoration of the Angels and the Shepherds," 
by Mengs. 

To be admitted to the Sala Reservada, re- 
quires an order from the Director of the insti- 
tution ; but this is always politely given upon 
application. In passing to the Sala Reser- 
vada, the visitor is conducted through a large 
apartment, in which a picture of the King's 
landing at Cadiz occupies one of the walls. 
The painting contains upwards of twenty 
figures as large as life, — all portraits : this 

248 SPAIN IN 1830. 

room is a favourite lounge of his majesty, who, 
it is said, contemplates with much compla- 
cency, the picture that records his restoration. 
In this Hall, the attention is speedily with- 
drawn from the picture, by two tables, that 
well merit admiration. At a little distance, 
they appear like exquisite flower-pieces, paint- 
ed on glass, — but upon approaching, you dis- 
cover that they are of marble ; the ground 
black, and the flowers Mosaic. Upwards of 
eighty diff'erent flowers are represented : and, 
among the marbles of Spain and her late colo- 
nies, is found every variety of colour necessary 
to give perfect truth to the representation. 

In the Sala Reservada are two " Sleeping 
Venuses," by Titian, both too good to be seen 
by every one ; " Adam and Eve," by Rubens; 
and eight other pictures, by the same master. 
An excellent Tintoretto, "Andromeda and Per- 
seus, '^ by Titian; "The Three Graces," by 
Albano ; and two delightful compositions of 
Breughel, in which trees, flowers, nymphs, 
and fountains, are charmingly mingled. 

In the Hall of Statuary, I found tables quite 
equal in workmanship to those in the king's 
apartment, but in value, far exceeding them. 

SPAIN IN 18;50. 249 

One represented a landscape, another a ma- 
rine view — and the effect was produced, not 
merely by marbles, but also by innumerable 
precious stones, especially emeralds and sap- 
phires ; these tables were executed by a 
Spanish workman, about fifty years ago. 
Several good statues adorn the Hall; and it 
seems to me, that the state of modern sculp- 
ture in Spain, is more promising than that of 
its painting. A "Venus," by Alvarez, and 
another, by Gines, are both excellent. There 
is also, connected with this Hall, a workshop, 
called the Hall of Restoration ; there, many 
artists were employed in repairing the ravages 
of time. Venuses lay on the ground without 
arms; and Graces without noses. An Apollo 
was getting fitted with a new foot; and a 
Calliope with another knee. 

There are two public days in the week, upon 
which all have access to the galleries ; but I 
had permission to go at any time, and very 
frequently availed myself of it ; most fre- 
quently upon the days that were not public. 
I generally saw a considerable number of 
artists engaged in copying ; and all, in the 
galleries allotted to the Italian masters. Op- 

250 SPAIN IN 1830. 

portunity must not be confounded with en- 
couragement. The artists of Spain have suffi- 
cient opportunities, but there is no encourage- 
ment ; and both are needed, that the fine arts 
in a country may be flourishing. Spain, as 
well as Italy, produced her great painters 
when the art was considered necessary, and 
was therefore encouraged ; when the adorn- 
ment of the temples of religion was deemed 
essential ; and when the different orders of 
friars, perceiving the effect of externals upon 
the minds of the people, vied with each other 
in multiplying these helps to devotion. 

Another building, dedicated to the recep- 
tion of works both of nature and of art, is the 
Cabinet of Natural History. The public gal- 
leries are allotted to mineralogy chiefly ; in 
which department, the specimens are nu- 
merous, and many of them fine. I particu- 
larly remarked the very fine specimens of 
native gold ; but above all, the extraordinary 
number and beauty of the precious stones, in 
which, I believe, the cabinet of Madrid excels 
every other in Europe. I noticed nearly forty 
emeralds upon one piece of rock, many of 
them of great size, and almost all of the purest 

SPAIN IN 18.30. 251 

quality. The specimens of crystal and of sul- 
phur are also numerous and fine ; but the 
native marbles are perhaps the most interest- 
ing of all. I counted no fev/er than two hun- 
dred and seven different kinds. Other saloons 
in the building are appropriated to Conchology 
and Zoology, in which the most perfect de- 
partment is considered to be that of the But- 

But the Salas Reservadas are more interest- 
ing than the public rooms. One of the Salas 
is entirely filled with precious stones, and 
vessels made of them ; it would almost fill a 
volume to enumerate the riches contained in 
this Hall. In the lower part of the building, 
also a Sala Reservada, is the Hall of Pictures ; 
and here are preserved some of the choicest 
specimens of Murillo's pencil. I could not 
understand why these, and other pictures in 
this Hall, are not deposited in the great pic- 
ture gallery ; the more exquisite they are, the 
better reason there seems to be for increasing 
the facilities for seeing them, — especially as 
there is nothing in any of these pictures im- 
proper to meet the public eye; the only 
for a Sala Reservada. 

252 SPAIN IN 1830. 

Among the paintings here, is that exquisite 
one of Murillo, " Santa Isabella Queen of Por- 
tugal, curing the sick and wounded," which I 
have already noticed in the memoir of Mu- 
rillo. Another in this Hall, which ranks 
among the highest of Murillo's productions, 
and which is less known than some others of 
his works, is '* the Patrician's Dream." A 
Roman noble asleep, is supposed to have a 
vision, in which a celestial message commands 
the building of a temple. The Patrician is 
seen buried in deep sleep, and an angel is 
near, pointing to a single column. The co- 
louring in this picture is exquisite ; and a 
spirit of the most perfect repose is thrown over 
the whole composition. In the same Hall hangs 
the companion to this picture, in which the 
Patrician is seen recounting his dream to the 

A " Mary Magdalen Penitent," by Murillo, 
and a "St. Geronimo," by Espaiioletto, are 
also found here ; but one of the most extraor- 
dinary pictures I have seen in Spain, is pre- 
served in this Sola; it is by Antonio dePereda, 
and is called " the Desengaiio de la Vida," 
which cannot be literally translated into Eng- 

SPAIN IN 1830. 253 

lish, but which means ** the Discovery that Life 
is an Imposture." A Caballero, about thirty 
years of age, handsome and graceful, is repre- 
sented asleep, and around him are seen all those 
things in which he has found enjoyment. Upon 
one table lie heaps of gold, books, globes, and 
implements of study ; upon another are the 
wrecks of a feast ; musical instruments are 
scattered here and there ; magnificent mirrors 
and paintings adorn the walls ; and on the 
floor lies a jewel-box, which has dropped from 
the hand that hangs over the couch where he 
reclines ; and a miniature of a beautiful woman 
has fallen out of it. But in the air, opposite 
to the sleeper, is seen the vision of an angel, 
who holds a scroll, with certain words in- 
scribed upon it, which the painter has left for 
the imagination to decipher, and which may 
be naturally interpreted, " Let all pass, — 
eternity lies beyond ;" and the countenance of 
the sleeping figure shews not only that he sees 
a vision, — but there is something in it so placid, 
so resigned, that it seems to express an acqui- 
escence in the advice of the angel, — '* Yes, it is 
all a cheat." 

I have perhaps dwelt too long upon this 

254 SPAIN IN 1830. 

picture ; but I was strongly impressed with its 
excellence, both in design and execution. 

There are few private collections of great 
value in Madrid. Those of the Duke of Liria, 
and of the Duke of Medina Coeli, are the best. 
The former of these collections adjoins the 
duke's palace in the Plaza de Liria; and having 
carried an introductory letter to his Grace from 
the Marquesa de Montemar, the duke did me 
honour to accompany me round the gallery. 
I found three good Murillos, — " St, Roch," 
*' Santa Teresa," and "Murillo's Son,"— the 
latter only in his best style ; several pictures, 
which may or may not be Salvator Rosa's; 
but generally believed to be originals ; two of 
Rubens: a ''Battle of the Amazons;" and 
"Ruben's Wives," — the latter in his best man- 
ner; "Adam and Eve chased out of Para- 
dise," by Paul Veronese, in all the grace and 
sweetness of that esteemed master ; " A Holy 
Family," by Gaspar Poussin ; three land- 
scapes, by Nicholas Poussin ; a charming 
portrait of Mengs, by himself; two or three 
delightful gems of Berghem, full of beauty 
and repose ; three Titians, " A Holy Family," 
the female head singularly beautiful ; " St. 

SPAIN IN 1830. 255 

John in the Wilderness," a picture of great 
richness and finish ; and " A Boy playing* 
with a Lion;" a "Venus," by Brencino; two 
Canalettos, but neither of them in his best 
style ; " The Children of Velasquez," by Ve- 
lasquez ; and " A Holy Family," by Perucini, 
the well known eleve of Raphael, — for which 
the present possessor paid 10,000 sequins. 

The Duke of Liria's gallery also contains 
some statuary ; a Venus, by Alvarez, the 
Spanish Canova ; and the Mother of the Duke 
by the same sculptor. The Duke of Liria, 
although not himself a great connoisseur in 
the fine arts, is their liberal patron, which is 
better. The chapel in the Duke's house con- 
tains some good fresco, by Antonio Callione 
de Torino, a very promising Spanish painter, 
but who, by his bad conduct, was forced to 
exile himself, and who lately died in France. 

The collection of ancient armour in the re- 
sidence of the Duke of Medina Ccela, is more 
interesting than his pictures. It contains, 
among other things, the armour of Gonsalva 
de Cordova. The Duke of Medina Coeli pos- 
sesses immense revenues ; but, like the greater 
number of the grandees in Spain, he is en- 

256 SPAIN IN 1830. 

cumbered with debt, being robbed by those 
to whom he has delegated the management of 
his property. It is a certain fact, that several 
of the Spanish nobles whose property lies in 
Andalusia, and other southern provinces, have 
never seen their own estates. 

The lover of pictures will be disappointed 
in his search among the churches and con- 
vents of Madrid. The collegiate church of 
San Isidro contains the greatest number ; but 
they are not of first-rate excellence ; and this 
church, as well as all the others in Madrid, 
are so dark, that it is impossible to obtain a 
proper view of any thing which they contain. 
The church of San Isidro is not worthy of 
being the metropolitan church. The interior 
is in the ornate taste of the Jesuits, to whom 
it formerly belonged ; but it has taken a higher 
rank since the real body of the patron saint 
of Madrid, and the ashes of Santa Maria de la 
Cabeza, have been deposited within its walls. 
There are, however, some pictures in this 
church which, with a favourable light, are worth 
visiting. Among the best are " the Conver- 
sion of St. Paul," and " San Francisco Xavier 
baptizing the Indians," by Jordan ; a Christ, 

SPAIN IN 1830. 257 

by Morales ; another Baptism of the Indians, 
by Jordan ; and several others of Cano, Coello, 
and Palomino. In one of the chapels are two 
urns, wherein are deposited the ashes of Ve- 
larde y Daoiz, and the other victims of the 
2d of May, 1808, in memory, as it is recorded, 
of *' the glorious insurrection of Spain." 

The church of San Salvador is only interest- 
ing as containing the tomb of Calderon ; that 
of Santa Maria is honoured by being the de- 
pository of the miraculous image of our lady 
of Alumeda. San Gines has a Christ by 
Cano, and the Annunciation by Jordan. San- 
tiago contains two or three pictures by Jordan ; 
and San Antonia de Florida boasts of a fresco 
by Goya. This limited interest is all that the 
churches of Madrid possess. 

Among the sixty-eight convents in Madrid, 
few possess great interest from the treasures 
of art which they contain. It is in Seville, 
and in the other cities of the south, that the 
convents offer the chiefest attractions to the 
lovers of painting. 

The greatest and the richest among the 
convents of Madrid, is Las Salesas. It was 

VOL. r. s 

258 SPAIN IN 1830. 

founded by Ferdinand the Vlth., and is 
adorned with a profusion of the most beautiful 
marbles and porphyries of Cuenca and Gra- 
nada. I noticed several columns of green 
marble, upwards of sixteen feet high, and each 
of one piece. Both in the church of the con- 
vent, and in its sacristy, there are some good 
pictures ; and a fine marble monument, raised 
by command of Charles III. to the memory of 
the founder, does credit to the taste of Fran- 
cisco Sabatini, who designed it, and to the 
powers of Francisco Gutierrez, who executed 
it. The morning service in the church of this 
convent is enchanting ; the nuns, all of noble 
family, and well educated, — chiefly in the same 
convent, —seem to have made music a principal 
study. I have never heard an organ touched 
with so delicate a hand, as in the Convento 
de las Salesas. 

The church of the Convent de la Encarna- 
cion, also a female convent of bare-footed 
Augustins, contains beautiful marbles, and 
some pictures perhaps worth a visit, by Cas- 
tillo, Bartolom6, Roman, and Greco. 

The Franciscan convent is worth visiting, 
only on account of its great extent ; it contains 

SPAIN IN 1830. 259 

ten courts, and dormitories for two hundred 
monks. Ev^ery where the Franciscans are the 
most numerous. It is said of Cirillo, the 
chief, or general, as he is called, of the Fran- 
ciscan order, — he who is now exiled from 
Madrid, — that he boasted of his power of 
putting 80,000 men under arms : a force almost 
equal to the king's. The head of the Francis- 
can order used formerly to reside in Rome, 
but the present head has made choice of 

The convent of Santa Isabel was robbed by 
the French of many choice works of Espano- 
letto ; but it still possesses some pictures by 
Cerezo, Ccello, and others, — these are in the 
church of the convent ; but it is said that 
there are others in the interior, which it is 
difficult, if not impossible, to see. There can- 
not be a doubt, that among the many hundred 
convents in Spain, in the interior of many of 
which no man has ever been, — no one, at all 
events, whose object has been to search for 
pictures, — there are hidden, many productions 
of the first masters. These may have come 
into their possession in many ways ; they 

s 2 

260 SPAIN IN 1830, 

may have been the individual property of dis- 
tinguished persons previous to taking the veil ; 
they may have been bequeathed to the convent 
by the founder ; the gift of the painters them- 
selves ; or offerings of the devout : but it is 
certain, that pictures of value and merit are 
shut up in convents. I am acquainted with a 
gentleman at Seville, who himself purchased 
"Joseph's Dream," by Juanes, and a portrait 
by Giordano, from the abbess of the Domi- 
nican convent at Seville, — who sold them in 
order to purchase certain ornaments for one of 
the altars. 

The convent of San Pasqual was, previous 
to the French invasion, the richest in paintings 
of any of the convents or monasteries in Ma- 
drid. It possessed the compositions of Van 
Dyk, Veronese, Titian, Da Vinci, Jordan, 
and many other eminent painters. The greater 
number of these have been removed ; but there 
are still several left, that well repay the trou- 
ble of a visit to the church of the convent. 
There is the " Taking of Christ in the Gar- 
den," by Van Dyk ; a " Conception," by 
Espanoletto ; "St. Francis in Prayer," by 
Veronese ; and one or two others by Espa- 

SPAIN IN 1830. 2G1 

noletto. Several more valuable than these, 
among the rest, ** Jacob Blessing his Sons," 
by Guercino, have been removed from the 
chnrch into the interior ; but the porter in- 
formed me, that it was intended shortly to 
restore them again to the different chapels in 
the convent church. These paintings were 
bequeathed to this convent by its founder, 
the Duke de Medina y Almirante de Castilla ; 
affording another example of the manner in 
which pictures may come into the possession 
of nuns. 

There is reason to believe that in the con- 
vent of Santa Teresa also, there arc paintings 
of value. During the time of the scarcity in 
Madrid, several pictures that used to adorn 
the church of the convent, were openly sold; 
and these have since been replaced by others, — 
several of them, works of merit, which could 
not have come from any other quarter than 
the interior of the convent. But in the church, 
there is yet preserved a picture of great beauty 
and value : this is a copy of the " Transfigura- 
tion of Raphael," by Julio Romano; one of 
the most successful disciples of that great 
master. This picture, also, was left to the 

262 SPAIN IN 1830. 

convent by its founder, the Prince Astillano, 
under the condition that it should never be 
parted with. 

The only other convents worth visiting, are 
the' Las Salesas Nuevas, which contains a 
Crucifixion of Greco ; and Las Descalzas 
Reales, in which will be found a good statue 
of the Infanta Dona Juana, daughter of Charles 
v., from the hand of Pompeyo Leoni. 

I regret much that I was not able to see the 
palace with so much attention as it deserves. 
I delayed from time to time making any ap- 
plication for admission ; and in the mean while, 
the situation of the queen bringing the court 
from La Granja two months sooner than usual, 
the palace was only to be seen at short inter- 
vals, when the king and queen left it ; and as 
the hour of the sortie was uncertain, the in- 
terval between obtaining the order, and their 
majesties return, was very limited. 

The new palace, although but a small part 
of the original plan, is nevertheless one of the 
most magnificent in Europe. It was begun in 
the year 1737, and was built under the direc- 
tion of Don Juan Bautista Saquete, the dis- 
ciple of Jubarra. It is a square, each front 

SPAIN IN 1830. 263 

being 470 feet in length, and 100 feet in 
height; a balustrade runs round the whole, 
to hide the leaden roof, and the walls are re- 
lieved and adorned by innumerable columns 
and pilasters. The interior of the palace cor- 
responds with its external magnificence ; eveiy 
thing within it, is of the most costly and most 
sumptuous kind, bespeaking the habitation of 
monarchs who once owned the riches of half 
the world. The paintings have been mostly 
removed to the gallery, but some yet remain ; 
particularly " the Rape of Proserpine," and 
some others, by Reubens ; '* a Magdalen," 
and some others, by Van Dyk ; several ex- 
quisite paintings, by Mengs ; and among 
others, " The Agony in the Garden ;" two 
Cattle pieces, by Velasquez ; and several 
charming pictures, by Tintoretto, Carlo Ma- 
ratti, and Andrea Vacaro. The ceilings also, 
by Bayeu, Velasquez, and Mengs, may well 
excite admiration. In the apartments of the 
Infantes likewise, I understand there are some 
valuable paintings ; but these, 1 had not an 
opportunity of seeing. The great license that 
is allowed the public, has sometimes surprised 
me. The royal apartments are of course 

264 SPAIN IN 1830. 

guarded ; but any person may walk up the 
stairs, and along all the corridors, and even 
through the ante-rooms without being once 

In the neighbourhood of the palace, is the 
royal armoury, which contains many ancient 
relics ; among others, the arms of Ferdinand 
and Isabella, of Charles V., of King Chico, 
the last of the Moorish kings, and of several 
kings and warriors, — those hardly-used Ame- 
ricans, who took the Spaniards for gods, and 
found them worse savages than themselves. 


Literature ; Difficulties to be encountered by Avithors ; the Book 
Fair ; Digression respecting the Claims of Spain to Gil Bias ; 
Public and Private Literary Societies ; Libraries ; Obstacles 
to Improvement, from the State of Society ; Female Educa- 
tion ; Education for the Liberal Professions ; Course of Study 
for the Bar; Course of Medical Studies; Charitable Institu- 
tions ; Consumption of Madrid ; Prices of Provisions. 

A priest, with whom I was acquainted in 
Madrid, telling me one day, that he had 
thoughts of going to London or Paris, to print 
an English and Spanish Grammar, and a Ger- 
man and Spanish Grammar, which he had 
written ; I asked him why he did not print 
them in Madrid, since they were intended for 
the use of his own countrymen, — especially as 
they could contain nothing political ? His 
answer was, that nothing was so difficult as 
to obtain a license to publish a book, even 
although it contained no allusion to politics : 

2G6 SPAIN IN 1830. 

and '' the better the book," said he, " the 
more ditficult it is to obtain a license, and the 
more dangerous to publish ; because Govern- 
ment does not wish to encourage writing, or 
even thinking, upon any subject : and the 
publication of a good book sets men a-think- 

This comprehensive reply explains, pretty 
nearly, the present state of literature in Spain; 
judging of it by the number and merit of pub- 
lished works : 

The number of books published, from 1820 
to 1823, was very considerable. The energy 
then communicated to letters, from the re- 
moval of almost all restriction, was extraordi- 
nary: books upon all subjects issued from the 
press ; and the best proof, perhaps, that can 
be given, that many of these were books of 
talent, is, that most of them are now prohi- 
bited. Literature, however, then received an 
impetus, which still continues in some degree 
to affect it, notwithstanding the difficulties to 
be overcome : for there is a considerably 
greater number of books published now, than 
previous to the revolution; and no reasonable 
doubt can be entertained, tl>at another removal 

SPAIN IN 1830. 2G7 

of the restrictions which press upon literature, 
would bring into the field a large accession of 
native talent. 

Even after a license has been obtained to 
publish a manuscript, its publication is still a 
dangerous speculation ; because it frequently 
happens, that when the book is printed, and 
partly circulated, some great man, even more 
fastidious than the censors, discovers a dubious 
passage, and the book is prohibited. There 
are four difficulties, therefore, which an author 
must resolve to face, before he sits down to 
prepare his manuscript : — the probability that 
he may be refused a license ; the probability 
that, before being licensed, his manuscript 
maybe mutilated — a probability that, I am 
told, amounts almost to a certainty, unless the 
work be upon one of the exact sciences ; the 
probability that, after the work be published, 
some caprice may forbid its sale ; and the 
certainty, that if the work be a talented work, 
the author of it, whether obtaining his license 
or no, will be looked upon with suspicion ; 
and, if in Government employment, will al- 
most certainly lose his appointment. 

These are sad drawbacks upon literary 

268 SPAIN IN 1830. 

exertion. But there is yet another : men are 
afraid to read, as well as to write ; and the 
sale of a work is therefore insecure. Book- 
sellers do not care to venture upon the publi- 
cation without some guarantee ; the conse- 
quence of which is, that almost every book 
published in Spain, is published by subscrip- 
tion, or in numbers, or both in numbers and 
by subscription ; by either of which modes 
the risk is lessened. What should we say in 
England of bills posted about the streets, an- 
nouncing a new novel to be published by sub- 
scription, and in numbers? Yet I saw an 
announcement of this kind, of a novel to be 
called El Dissimulador — the Dissembler. But 
the greater number of books at present pub- 
lished in Spain, are translations from French 
and English, adapted, of course, to the Spa- 
nish censorship. I noticed the following an- 
nouncements, by bills posted on the walls : — 
" Universal History," from the French, in 
numbers: "the History of Spain," a new 
edition, in numbers : " the History of Spa- 
nish America," an original work, in numbers. 
This manuscript I should think must have 
been sadly carved. The following were an- 

SPAIN IN 1830. 269 

nouDced by subscription : — " Selections from 
French and English Literature;" "Church 
History ; " " Chateaubriand's Holy Land ; " 
'* the History of the Administration of Lord 
North," a singular enough choice ; " the His- 
tory of the English Regicides ; " " the Works 
of Fenelon ; " a new edition of '' Gil Bias ; " 
** Evelina;" and while I was in Madrid, pro- 
posals were circulated for publishing by sub- 
scription, and in numbers, the whole prose 
works of Sir Walter Scott. I heard of one 
voluminous, and rather important work, about 
to be published by a society called " the Aca- 
demy of History," viz., all *' the inscriptions 
in Greek and Latin, now extant, throughout 
Spain." The Arabic inscriptions are not in- 
cluded in the work, these being already col- 
lected and printed. 

Although the Spanish government endea- 
vours by every means to repress intelligence, 
and thwart the progress of knowledge, there 
is no lack of books in Spain, to those who 
will, and dare to read them. This is indeed 
done under the rose ; but it is done. There 
are two libraries in Madrid, which contain the 
best French authors ; and persons who arc 

270 SPAIN IN 1S30. 

known to the librarian, or recommended to 
him, may obtain almost any prohibited book. 
I had personal proof of this. Sitting one 
morning with a lady connected with the royal- 
ist party, but a woman of very liberal views, 
and one of the few blue-stockings of Madrid, 
I was compassionating the situation of those 
who, like herself, were lovers of literature, 
but who were denied the means of gratifying 
their taste. The lady assured me she had no 
need of my compassion upon this score, for 
that she might have any French author she 
chose, and many English authors, from the 

library of . And when I expressed some 

surprise at this, she desired me to fix upon 
any celebrated books that occurred to me, 
and they should be put into my hands in less 
than half an hour. I chose accordingly ; and 
in ten minutes, I had in my hands a Paris 
edition of " the Social Compact," and the 
Basil edition of *' Gibbon's Historical Work." 
Books, therefore, may be had ; but persons 
are afraid to have and to read them. 

A considerable number of prohibited books 
slip into circulation at the time of the fair. I 
was then in Madrid, and spent a few hours 

SPAIN IN 1830. 271 

each day strolling among the booths and 
stalls, and talking with the vendors of goods. 
Every kind of article is exposed at this fair, — 
clothes, calicoes, jewellery, toys, hardware, 
china, but especially books and pictures. The 
books were innumerable ; and their high prices 
seemed to be an index to a good demand ; and 
yet I thought that, on the last day of the fair, 
the shelves were but little relieved of their 
burden : probably, hoM'ever, the book mer- 
chants had other copies to replace those that 
were sold. The books were of all descrip- 
tions ; but the most numerous class, was theo- 
logical and religious ; particularly the lives of 
saints, who have all their biographers. The 
next most numerous class was history; chiefly 
histories connected with Spain and America. 
Then followed Spanish plays, and Spanish 
novels. After these, Spanish translations 
from French and English works. And lastly, 
books in foreign languages. Among the Spa- 
nish translations from English works, I noticed 
many copies of Blair's Lectures, Clarissa 
Harlowe, and Goldsmith's Roman History. 
Among the books in English, I observed Bell's 
Surgery, the Life of Wellington, and Lady 

272 SPAIN IN 1830. 

Morgan's Italy, whose English dress had 
blinded the eyes of the Inquisitors, who looked 
very scrutinizingiy at the stalls. I saw several 
copies of Machiavelli, — a prohibited book, I 
believe, — and one Bible in 14 volumes, with 
notes by a Dominican friar, which I have no 
doubt are sufficiently curious. 

I questioned the book-vendors, as to the 
demand, and in what current it ran. They in- 
formed me, that the demand for religious books 
was on the decline; and that the lives of saints 
especially, were almost unmarketable. Trans- 
lation from French and English, especially 
the former, and even works in the French 
language, were asked for; the demand was 
also large and constant, for the Spanish dra- 
matists and novels ; especially Don Quixotte 
and Gil Bias, which were to be seen on every 
stall, in great numbers, and of various editions. 
I opened several copies of Gil Bias, and found 
the title-page invariably in these words, — 
" Aventuras de Gil Bias de Santillana, robadas 
a Espana, y adoptadas en Franc ia por M. Le 
Sage ; restituidas a su patria y a su lengua 
nativa per un Espaiiol zeloso que no sufre se 
burl en de su nacion." This is a point upon 

SPAIN IN 1830. 273 

which the Spanish nation is very jealous ; 
every educated person stoutly maintaining, 
that to Spain belongs the honour of having 
produced Gil Bias. It is evident, that in the 
dispute between France and Spain, regarding 
their respective claims to Gil Bias, the proofs 
must be drawn from the internal evidence 
afforded by the work itself. The only direct 
proofs that could be obtained, would be the 
production of the original manuscript. This 
however must lie upon the French; because 
if any plausible reason exist for supposing, 
that the Spanish manuscript got into the hands 
of Le Sage, the Spanish manuscript of course 
cannot be produced ; and the French must 
produce their French manuscript. That this 
has never been done, seems to atford a prim^ 
facie evidence in favour of the Spanish claims; 
especially if, as I believe to be the case, the 
internal evidence be also in favour of Spain. 
The belief that Gil Bias is a French work, 
and the work of Le Sage, is so universal, and 
I feel so perfect a conviction that this belief is 
erroneous, that I cannot allow this opportu- 
nity to escape, of introducing a short digression 
upon the subject. 

VOL. I. T 


274 SPAIN IN 1830. 

The Spanish statement is this: that Don 
Antonio de Solis, a well-known Spanish author, 
wrote in 1665 a romance, entitled " Aventuras 
del Bachiller de Salamanca, 6 Historia de Don 
Querubim de la Ronda;" that Solis could not 
publish this in Spain, owing to its containing 
many allusions to persons then existing ; and 
that Hugo, Marquess of Lionne, ambassador 
from France at the Spanish court, who was a 
man of letters, purchased not only a library of 
Spanish poets and dramatists, but also many 
manuscripts, which were afterwards seen in 
the library of the Marquess's third son ; that it 
is known that this son, Julio de Lionne, was 
intimately allied in friendship with M. Le 
Sage, and by him the manuscript of the 
Bachelor of Salamanca, " Don Querubim de 
la Ronda," was confided to Le Sage, who 
divided the work, making from it the Ad- 
ventures of Gil Bias, and the Bachelor of 
Salamanca. These assertions afford a pre- 
sumption ; but no more. At the same time, 
it cannot escape observation, that a complete 
refutation of these assertions, or at least of the 
result drawn from them, would be, the pro- 
duction by the heirs of M. Le Sage, of the 

SPAIN IN 1830. 275 

manuscript, eitherof Gil Bias, or the Bachelor 
of Salamanca. But there are many proofs 
drawn from the work itself, strongly support- 
ing the presumption afforded by the tale told 
by the Spaniards. Of these I shall state a 
few: — 1st. There are many French words and 
phrases, which do not correspond with the 
usual elegance of Le Sage's style, and which 
have the appearance of being literal transla- 
tions of Spanish words and phrases. 2nd. 
There are innumerable Spanish proper names 
in Le Sage's work, and particularly small 
villages, of which no foreigner could know the 
names, still less their geographical position. 
3rd. We find in Gil Bias a variety of particular 
circumstances, usages, and habits, peculiar to 
Spanish provincial life, of which no stranger 
could have a sufficient knowledge. 4th. There 
are in Le Sage's work innumera])le errors in 
names of persons and towns, seeming to prove, 
that errors have arisen in copying the Spanish 
manuscript. The proofs of each of these might 
extend to a chapter : none of them, taken 
singly, amount to much ; but when considered 
along with the story told of the manner in 

276 SPAIN IN 1830. 

which the MS. came into the possession of Le 
Sage, unanswered, as it is, by the production 
of any French manuscript ; and along with 
the admitted fact, that several of the incidental 
stories introduced into Gil Bias are to be found 
in old Spanish romances, — a strong conviction 
is produced, that Gil Bias is a Spanish, and 
not a French work. 

A strange enough answer was made by the 
Count de Neufchateau, member of the French 
academy, to the assertion that Le Sage had 
availed himself of the Spanish manuscript. 
He said, Le Sage would not have taken to 
himself the merit of having written Gil Bias, 
if the work had been composed from the manu- 
script of another ; and the reason he gives for 
his confidence in Le Sage's honour is, that he 
did not hesitate to acknowledge his other 
plagiarisms. He acknowledged that he took 
from Spanish authors ''the New Adventures of 
Don Quixotte," published by him in 1735; 
" The Devil upon Two Sticks," published in 
1732; '' The Adventures of Guzman de Al- 
farache," published in 1707 ; *' The Life and 
Doings of Estavanillo Gonzalez," published in 
1734; and " The Bachelor of Salamanca,'' pub- 

SPAIN IN 1830. 277 

lished in 1738. What the force of this argu- 
ment is, I leave the reader to judge. 

But to return from this digression. Private 
literary associations are out of the question in 
Spain: several were set on foot in 1821-22; 
but after the return of the king, any thing of 
this kind was known to be so obnoxious, that 
these societies dissolved themselves, without 
waiting for any express order to that effect. 
Two public institutions only, connected with 
literature, exist at present. Like every other 
institution in Spain, they are Real, and there- 
fore imder the surveillance of government; — 
their names are, ** The Royal Spanish Aca- 
demy," and " The Koyal Academy of History." 
The object of the first of these, is to perfect 
the Castilian language ; and with this view 
they have published two excellent works, a 
Dictionary and a Grammar, besides a treatise 
on Orthography, and several smaller writings. 
The object of the vVcademy of History is to 
separate truth from falsehood in the history of 
Spain, and to collect all that may throw light 
upon the ancient and modern history, as well 
as geography, of that country. This society 
has published an excellent Geographical Die- 

278 SPAIN IN 1830. 

tionary, which has gone through several edi- 
tions ; and is now on the eve of publishing the 
collection of Inscriptions which I have already 
mentioned, accompanied by notes. 

There is no want of public and valuable 
libraries in Spain, particularly in Madrid. 
The two principal of these, are the Royal 
Library, and the Royal Library of San Isidro. 
The former, founded by Philip V., was en- 
riched in the reign of Charles IIL by the 
accession of the library of the cardinal Arquin- 
to, purchased in Rome ; and in the reign of 
his successor, Charles IV., by several other 
libraries; and now amounts to 200,000 volumes. 
The Royal Library also contains many valu- 
able manuscripts, particularly Arabic ; and a 
rich collection of coins and medals, illustrative 
of Spanish history. The Spanish press has 
produced some fine specimens of printing, 
which are preserved in this library, particu- 
larly Don Quixotte and Sallust, both from the 
press of Ibarra. Besides the library of San 
Isidro, which contains about 60,000 volumes, 
. there are some excellent libraries in the pos- 
session of private persons, particularly the 
Duke of Osuna, the Duke of Infantado, and 

SPAIN IN 1830. 279 

the Duke of Medina Coeli : the latter of these 
was formerly open to the public ; but so 
great public spiritedness looking too much like 
liberalism, it is now closed. 

T have already spoken of the obstacles 
thrown in the way of knowledge, by the re- 
gulations respecting the schools and acade- 
mies; and the fetters thrown upon education 
of every kind : these chiefly affect the rising- 
generation ; but I may mention, as another 
cause of the backward state of literature in 
Sj^ain, the tone of Spanish socicti/. Every Spanish 
house has its tcrtulia; and every man, Moman, 
girl, and boy, is a member of one tertulia or 
another. The introduction to the tertulia 
begins at a very early age. I have seen boys 
who, in any other country, would have been 
in a school-room, or at play, present them- 
selves regularly at the tertulia, and throwing 
off the character of boys, act the part of 
grown-up men. This necessity of resorting 
every night to the tertulia, not only interferes 
greatly with habits of study, by employing 
much valuable time, — but the preparatory 
education for the tcrtulia, if I may so express 
myself, is of the most unimproving kind. 

280 SPAIN IN 1830. 

The foundation of the tertulia is gallantry, — 
here it is that the Spanish woman, after 
having reaped a harvest of admiration on the 
Prado, retires to receive that nearer homage 
which is prized still higher ; and here it is 
that the Spaniard makes his prelude to future 
conquest. Gallantry is the business of every 
Spaniard's life; his object in frequenting the 
tertulia, is to practise it ; and his principal 
study, therefore, is that frivolous and gallant 
conversation that is essential in the first place 
to captivate the attention of the Spanish 
woman. The Spanish ladies, with all their 
agreeable wit and affability, are ignorant 
almost beyond belief; and in a country where, 
more than any other in Europe, the society is 
mixed,— the extreme ignorance of the female 
sex, and the channel into which conversation 
must necessarily run every evening of every 
day throughout the year, cannot fail to have 
its effect upon the mind, and to act as a draw- 
back upon the desire of knowledge, and lite- 
rary distinction. 

I understand that female education begins 
to improve ; and that besides embroidery and 
music, a little history and geography are now 

SPAIN IN 1830. 281 

taught in the schools, but not in the convents; 
so that the highest classes, who are mostly 
educated in the convents, are worse educated 
than the middle classes. While in Madrid, 
I had the pleasure of being conducted to a 
girl's Lancastrian school by its directress. 
Donna Hurtado de Mendoza, a lady every way 
worthy of the trust. During the time of the 
constitution, there were also two Lancastrian 
schools for boys ; but these were suppressed 
upon the return of the king, who was prevailed 
upon, however, to allow the school for girls to 
continue. In the Lancastrian school there 
are at present 163 pupils, and the system 
pursued is precisely similar to that followed 
in England; part of three days every week 
is dedicated to instruction in the tenets of 
the Roman Catholic faith. 

There is one fact I had nearly forgotten to 
mention, — a fact somewhat opposed to the 
narrow policy of the government in its hosti- 
lity to the progress of literary knowledge. 
Eight young men, of promising abilities, were 
lately sent by the Spanish government to 
different cities to study the various branches 
of chemistry, with a liberal allowance from 

282 SPAIN IN 1830. 

the public purse ; and his majesty's gilder 
was also dispatched to England to make in- 
quiries as to the manner of gilding buttons, 
and gilding bronze, with an allowance of 
18,000 reals; and with another stipulation as 
to a farther and much larger sum, to be put 
at his disposal for the purchase of secrets. 

In Spain, the education for the liberal pro- 
fessions is tedious and strict, but not ex- 
pensive. The course of study required of a 
barrister includes no fewer than thirteen years, 
besides a previous knowledge of Latin, in which 
the student is examined before entering any 
of the law universities. The branches of 
study which occupy these thirteen years, are, 
three years of philosophy, which consists of 
logic, physics, metaphysics, and ethics ; and 
in the first of these years, the outlines of 
mathematics are taught; but this branch of 
study is never pursued farther : after this 
course of philosophy, the theory of Roman 
law is entered upon, which occupies two 
years ; one year of Spanish law then follows ; 
next. Ecclesiastical law, which occupies two 
years ; and this is all that is required to take 
the degree of bachelor : but rhetoric, theology, 

SPAIN IN 1830. 283 

digest of law, and medicine, are required for a 
higher degree. At the end of each year, ex- 
aminations are gone through, before granting 
certificates ; and the whole of the instructions 
are in Latin, excepting rhetoric and Spanish 
law. The philosophy used, is that of Gue- 
barra. The expense of instruction varies 
according to the university ; at Toledo it is 
all gratis ; at Alcala it costs about 50/. per 
annum ; but many are admitted into the co- 
legios, in which case the student is put to no 
expense. These colegios are particular foun- 
dations, under the patronage of certain great 
families. The education of an attorney re- 
quires only an apprenticeship, and that the 
candidate should be twenty- five years of age, 
and have a certificate of good morals ; he has 
also to pass one examination in law. Before 
any barrister, attorney, or notary, be admitted 
to practice, he is obliged to swear that he will 
defend the poor gratis. Thirty are appointed 
each year from each society to defend the 
poor in civil cases ; and every one is entitled 
to be put upon the poor list who chooses to 
swear that he is not worth 4000 reals (40/.) ; 
and it is a curious fact, that, in criminal cases, 

284 SPAIN IN 1830. 

the prisoner is entitled to make choice of any 
barrister in Madrid to defend him. In Spain 
they do not understand that celebrated legal 
fiction, so implicitly believed by some sound 
heads in England, that the judge is counsel 
for the prisoner. I learned that the course of 
justice, or in plainer terms a legal process, is 
very expensive in Madrid ; two-third parts, 
at least, of every account being absorbed in 
court dues and stamps. 

The Spanish government is not unmindful 
of the lives and health of its subjects ; for 
medical is even more strict and tedious than 
legal education. 

There are three kinds of medical professors 
in Spain : — physicians, medico-surgeons, and 
cirujanos romancistos. 

The first of these, after a course of the usual 
regular scholastic studies, go to the Univer- 
sity, where they study anatomy, physiology, 
pathology, and the different branches of medi- 
cal education ; in which four years are em- 
ployed. They then go through the hospitals, 
with professors appointed for the purpose — 
note down the diseases and their treatment, 
and submit their notes for revision, to the 

SPAIN IN 1830. 285 

instructors ; this occupies two years : after 
which they undergo examinations upon the 
theory and practice of medicine, before being- 
admitted to practice. 

The medico-surgeons profess both physic 
and surgery : they go through the same stu- 
dies as the physician, adding chirurgical pa- 
thology, midwifery, clinica medica, and sur- 
gical practice ; and are subject to examination 
upon all these branches. 

The third class, the ciriymios iv??iancistos, are 
literally surgeons who have not studied Latin, 
and are an inferior class. They are not required 
to have the same classical education as the 
others ; but must study, and pass examinations 
in anatomy, physiology, chirurgical pathology, 
operative surgery, and midwifery. Those be- 
longing to this class of medical practitioners, 
are forbidden, by a royal edict, from prescrib- 
ing for inward complaints. 

Madrid does not want institutions for the 
alleviation of bodily infirmity ; there being no 
fewer than thirteen hospitals in the capital. 
The principal of these are, the General Hos- 
pital, which is chiefly supported by the re- 
ceipts of the bull-fights ; and the Hospicio real 

286 SPAIN IN 1830. 

de San Fernando^ which is also a workhouse, 
and is supported by imposts upon the entry 
of goods into the city. There is also an Hos- 
pital for Illegitimate Children, which receives 
about 1200 yearly, nearly one-third of the 
number being foundlings, and which is sup- 
ported by the lottery ; an Orphan Hospital, 
which supports about 800 orphans ; several 
smaller orphan hospitals ; and two lying-in 

There are also in Madrid, ten different 
institutions for philanthropic purposes — the 
succour of the wretched, and the relief of the 
poor ; among these, El Monte de Piedad de- 
serves mention. It is a public establishment, 
which lends money upon goods, which may 
be reclaimed at any time during a year, or 
even longer, in particular cases, upon repay- 
ment of the loan without any interest. 

Madrid, I have mentioned in the former 
chapter, is supposed to contain 170,000 inha- 
bitants ; but this is partly conjecture, — no 
census having been lately made. In the year 
1790, there died in Madrid 5915 persons ; 
and 4897 were born: and in the year 1810, 
378G persons died ; and 5282 were born. 

SPAIN IN 1830. 287 

The following was the consumption of Madrid, 
in the year 1 825 : 230,000 sheep ; 1 2,500 oxen ; 
70,000 hogs; 2,417,357 arrobas* of charcoal; 
13,245 arrobas of soap ; 40,809 arrobas of oil; 
800,000 bushels of corn ; 500,000 arrobas of 
wine; 50,000 arrobas of snow; 30,000 arrobas 
of candles ; and 18,000 bushels of salt: and 
supposing, as there is reason to believe, that 
since that time the population of Madrid has 
increased 5000, the addition of a thirty-fifth 
part to these sums, will give nearly the pre- 
sent consumption of Madrid. 

Madrid, although, with the exception of 
Constantinople, the most interesting city in 
Europe to visit, owing to the perfect novelty 
of scene which it presents even to him who 
has travelled through every other country, 
would not be an agreeable permanent resi- 
dence. It is not like Paris, or Rome, or 
Vienna ; in any of Avhicli cities a stranger 
may, if he pleases, live nearly as he lived in 
his own country. In Madrid, this is impos- 
sible ; the hotels are execrable ; boarding 
houses there are none ; and although a 

* An arroba is 251bs. weight. 

288 SPAIN IN 1830. 

stranger may find lodgings, he will find Spa- 
nish habits in them. Of the state of society, 
and of the diversions, I have already given 
some idea. These possess much interest to a 
stranger, but not any permanent attraction ; 
so that after he has remained in Madrid long 
enough to gratify his curiosity with the novel 
spectacle of a people differing from all the 
rest of the world, in dress, habits, amuse- 
ments, modes of life, and modes of thinking, 
he will begin to feel some desire to know 
what the world beyond Spain is doing ; be- 
cause of this, he can know nothing within 
Spain. But let no traveller leave Madrid to 
return to England. Seville and Granada lie 
beyond; and when the Castiles have lost their 
attraction, Andalusia and its thousand charms 
await him. 

Before closing this chapter, — the last that 
has any reference to Madrid, — let me give 
some information respecting the price of pro- 
visions, &c. 

The Spanish capital is probably the dearest 
capital in Europe ; and this cannot excite sur- 
prise, when it is considered that Madrid is 
situated in the midst of a sterile country, 

SPAIN IN 1830. 289 

where there is no pasture land, no rivers, 
scarcely any gardens, and no communication 
with the sea, or with any of the distant and 
more productive provinces. Notwithstanding 
these drawbacks, the markets are well sup- 
plied ; and all kinds of meat, poultry, game, 
vegetables, and fruit, may be had of an excel- 
lent quality : fish, and milk, are the only 
scarce articles. In the following enumera- 
tion, the best quality of every article is under- 
stood ; it is not easy to render the prices with 
precision, into English money, because they 
are generally reckoned in quartos ; but if the 
reader recollects that eight quartos are nearly 
2\d., one quarto being i?th,s of a penny, it will 
be no difficult calculation to bring the prices 
to English value. 

Beef, per lb. of 14 oz. 18 quartos. Veal, per 
lb. 30 quartos. Mutton, per lb. 18 quartos. 
Pork, per lb. 20 quartos. 

The price of fish cannot be stated ^\ ith 
accuracy ; it is never seen excepting in winter, 
and the supply is so precarious, that it is im- 
possible to approach the truth. 

Bread, of the first quality, is 14 quartos 
per lb. ; the second quality 10. 

VOL. I. u 

290 SPAIN IN 1830, 

Ordinary wine of La Mancha, 21 quartos. 

A fine fowl, 6 reals (1^. 6d.). A chicken „ 
from 7d. to 10 J. A duck, from Is. 8d. to 2^. Id. 
A goose, 3.V. 6d. A turkey, from 4^. to 10^., 
according to the season. Turkeys, in Madrid, 
are not sold in the markets, but are driven 
through the streets. I have several times 
bought a small turkey for 3,y. Pigeons, 1*. 6d. 
or 1^. 8d. a couple. 

Coffee, 1*. 8^?. per lb. Chocolate, 2*. 6d. 
per lb. Green tea, 10.y. Black tea, 12^.; but 
it is scarcely to be found. Sugar, l^. 86^., 
equal to English sugar at lid. The natives 
use sugar at 10^/. ; but it is dirty and bad. 

Goat's milk 4d. a pint during summer, — half 
that price in winter ; cow's milk is difficult to 
be had in summer, — in winter it is Sd. a pint ; 
Flanders butter 2*. 6d. per lb. ; salted butter, 
from the Asturias and Galicia, may also be 
had at Is. 6d. ; but it is not good. 

Vegetables are rather dearer than in Eng- 
land, especially potatoes. 

Fruit is always excellent and cheap. A 
melon, such as cannot be seen either in France 
or England, costs 5d. ; these are the Valencia 
melons, extremely pale, and of the most ex- 

SPAIN IN 18.10. 291 

quisite flavour. The finest Muscatel grapes 
are lid. per lb. 

I have mentioned in a former chapter, that 
the bread of Spain is, without exception, ex- 
cellent ; and it is nowhere finer than in Ma- 
drid. The finest, is called pan de Majorca; 
but this bread is made partly with milk, and 
is not fitted for general use ; the bread used 
by the better classes, is the pan Frances, very 
ill named, because it is much superior to 
any French bread. The lower orders, and 
many too among the middle classes, use pian 
Candealy in which there is no leaven, and 
no salt. 

I must not omit the mention of fuel ; this is 
an expensive article in winter to a stranger 
who is not accustomed to sit without a fire. 
The American minister told me, that his 
fuel cost him 20.?. per day in the month of 

There is only one thing in Madrid remark- 
ably cheap ; that is, the keep of horses. From 
the same authority I may state, that the keep 
of a horse does not exceed 20/. per annum. 
The usual food of horses is cut straw, and a 

u 2 

292 SPAIN IN 1830. 

little barley ; and it appears that they thrive 
well upon this regimen : but in Spain, horses 
are lightly worked, no one travelling with his 
own horses, but invariably with mules hired 
for the purpose. 



Ix dedicating a chapter to the consideration of 
the state of parties, and the probable political 
prospects of Spain, I am anxious to avoid the 
imputation of any assumption of superior 
knowledge, or exclusive information. My 
knowledge upon these subjects has no farther 
claim to superiority than that which arises 
from its having been gathered upon tliQ spot : 
this ought, no doubt, to count for something; 
both because a resident in a country is better 
situated for judging of the authenticity of in- 
formation, and is able to avail himself of a 
greater number of sources ; and because, from 
personal observation, many helps are obtained. 
During the several months that I remained in 

294 SPAIN IN 1830. 

Madrid, my acquaintance lay among men of 
all parties. With Carlists, Royalists, and 
Liberals, I was upon terms of equal intimacy; 
and I never found, among men of any party, 
the least backwardness in speaking privately 
the sentiments of their party ; or in avowing 
its views, and speculating upon its prospects. 
Many have been so candid as to avow them- 
selves hypocrites. Military men in Madrid, 
and at Barcellona, sworn to support the govern- 
ment, have admitted to me that they were 
Carlists, — associated in private societies of 
that party which held their meetings every 
second night : and employees in Toledo, de- 
pendents upon the existing government, who, 
in that hot-bed of ultraism, found it prudent 
even to pretend some sympathy with the opi- 
nions of the Carlists, have told me in confi- 
dence, that they were neither Loyalists nor 
Carlists, but Liberals. From this it may be 
gathered, that a person residing in Spain, and 
unsuspected of any improper object, may, 
without much difficulty, learn the opinions 
and views of men of different parties. The 
conclusions which I may occasionally draw, 
many may think erroneous. I will only say, 

SPAIN IN 1830. 295 

that I am unconscious of being biassed by 
prejudice ; and whatever I set down shall be 
based as much as possible upon fact and 

I left England in the belief that there existed 
in Spain two great parties, — the Constitution- 
alists, and the adherents of the government ; 
the latter party indeed somewhat divided, — 
and comprising many shades of opinion, rang- 
ing from absolutism, to a point somewhere 
between that and moderation. But this esti- 
mate I discovered to be very erroneous. I 
found three parties in Spain: the Absolutists, 
there denominated Carlists; the Government 
party, there called the moderate party; and 
the Liberals. The most influential of these 
parties is, beyond all question, the first. 
Reckoning the total population of Spain, this 
party is by far the most numerous ; it com- 
prises the great mass of the lower orders 
throughout Spain ; and in many parts, almost 
the whole population, — as inToledo, the towns 
and villages of the Castiles, and the pro- 
vinces of Murcia and Catalunia. It com- 
prises, with few exceptions, the 130,000 
friars, and a great majority of the clergy, 

296 SPAIN IN 1830. 

and it comprises a considerable proportion of 
the military, both officers and privates; but 
chiefly the former. With such components, 
it is evident that this party does not depend 
for its power, solely upon its numerical su- 
periority. Every one knows, that there is 
uncounted wealth in the convents and churches 
of Spain. I do not speak merely of the wealth 
in jewels, and golden urns, and images, locked 
up in Toledo, and Seville, and Murcia, and 
the Escurial, and elsewhere, — though much of 
this would, without doubt, be made a ready 
sacrifice to the necessities of the party ; but 
also of the more available riches, well known 
to be possessed by many orders of frairs ; 
among others, by the Carthusians, the Domi- 
nicans, and HieronomiteSo Hundreds of the 
convents in Spain have no possible way of 
consuming their revenues — for it is a fact, that 
the poor orders are invariably the most nu- 
merous ; and we generally find a very limited 
fraternity in those convents whose revenues 
are the largest. In the Carthusian convent, 
at Granada, there are only nine monks ; and 
the land for more than half a league round, 
and comprising numerous country houses, and 

SPAIN IN 1830. 297 

hamlets, is the property of this convent. In 
the Convento de los Reyes, in the neighbour- 
hood of Valencia, there are indeed twenty- 
seven monks ; but one of their number ad- 
mitted to me, that the revenues of the convent 
exceeded 500,000 reals, (5000/. sterling) : and 
in the neighbourhood of Murviedro, (the an- 
cient Saguntum), there is another convent of 
Carthusians, which owns seven villages, and 
a tract of laud as rich as any in Spain, nearly 
a league square, and which contains only 
seven monks. 

In place of three of these examples, as 
many hundreds might be given. The same 
monk who admitted to me the amount of the 
revenues of the Convento de los Reyes, said, 
in reply to my question as to what they did 
with so much wealth, that " times of need 
might come ; " and there can be little doubt 
that other friars might make a similar reply. 
Nor can it be doubted, that many of the 
reputed poor orders, who live upon charity, 
have no need of it. The prayers, blessings, 
and other godly offices of the Franciscans, 
bear the highest value in the market of super- 
stition ; and in those convents in which the 

298 SPAIN IM 1S30. 

visitor dare not put money into the hands of 
the friar, I have frequently been reminded, 
that a certain little golden saint, or silver 
virgin, accepted the iKcttas which were laid 
upon their altars. This cannot be considered 
a digression, because it explains another source 
of influence, besides physical strength, pos- 
sessed by the apostolicals. 

It scarcely requires that I should adduce any 
proof of the fact stated, that the lower orders, 
and the friars, are attached to the party of Car- 
lists. The present government of Spain is con- 
sidered by the friars to be guided too much 
by moderate principles. They perceive that 
they lose a little groi .id ; and, shut out as they 
are in a great measure, from commerce with 
the world, they are ignorant of the pace at 
^yhich the world moves : and the secret is 
breaking upon them but slowly, that the 
strength of governments lies in free institu- 
tions. They still fancy that men are to be 
governed by the scourge and the cowl ; and 
believe that another Philip II. would elevate 
the fortunes of Spain, and raise up all the 
props of the Roman Catholic faith. I have 
myself heard one of the monks in the Escurial 

SPAIN IN 1830. 299 

say, that the king was no friend to them : and 
then, pointing to the urn of Philip, pass an 
euiogium upon his virtues and piety. If any 
other proof were needed, of the attachment of 
the friars to the Carlist party, the circumstance 
mentioned in a former chapter might be stated ; 
that the chief of the Franciscan order was 
detected in a conspiracy to overturn, or at 
least to overawe the government. I need say 
nothing of the lower orders, because, with few 
exceptions, they and the friars are one. 

I have said, that a great proportion of the 
regular clergy also are Carlists. I know that 
many are not ; because many are intelligent 
men, who have at all events the acuteness to 
perceive, that a more despotic government 
would not secure its permanency ; and whose 
alarm at the progress of liberalism in the 
world, is not so great as that of the friars. 
But the majority of the priesthood are igno- 
rant; and the majority are therefore Carlists. 
Besides, their interest lies that way — the head 
of the church in Spain, the Archbishop of 
Toledo, is the head of the party ; the Arch- 
bishop of Seville is one of its warmest parti- 
zans ; and almost all the archbishops and 

300 SPAIN IN 1830. 

bishops, hold similar sentiments : the curate, 
therefore, who envies the luxuries of a canon, 
must both profess his adherence to that party, 
and employ his influence in its favour. 

To the friars, the priests, and the lower 
orders, I have added a part of the military, as 
partizans of the Carlists ; I might also include 
a considerable number of the employees. That 
such is the fact, I have had many personal 
proofs, as well as information from the most 
authentic sources. The reason alleged by 
those in government employment, whether 
civil or military, for being favourably disposed 
towards that party which would rather see 
Don Carlos than Ferdinand at the head of the 
government, is, the indecision of the king's cha- 
racter. They say that merit is not rewarded ; 
that services are not requited ; that promotion 
is not upon a footing of justice ; and that 
neither in civil nor military service, is there 
any dependence upon government favour, 
which shines or is withdrawn by caprice — 
which favouritism purchases, and slander de- 
stroys. All this they ascribe, and probably 
with justice, to the king's ivant of character : 
and the idea among them is very general, that 

SPAIN IN 1830. 301 

under Don Carlos, a system of greater justice, 
and impartiality, and decision, v.'ould be pur- 
sued in every department of the state. I have 
sometimes wished, when I have heard these 
good qualities attributed to Don Carlos, that 
he possessed, along with them, some of those 
other virtues which Spain requires in a sove- 
reign : there might, in that case, be a more 
speedy prospect of happiness for Spain. 

Such appear to me to be the elements of 
the party called Carlists, — the strongest in 
numbers and wealth, and the weakest in intel- 

Classing the parties according to their nu- 
merical strength, I must next mention the 
party called Liberals ; but generally, in Eng- 
land, known by the name of Constitutionalists. 
If, by this party, be meant those who desire 
a return to the Constitution of 1820; or who 
would be satisfied to leave the settlement of 
the government to the wisdom of an army of 
refugees, — there is no such party in Spain : 
but if, by the liberal party, we are to under- 
stand those who perceive the vices of the 
present government, and who dread still more 
the ascendancy of the Carlists ; those who 

302 SPAIN IN 1S30. 

view with satisfaction the progress of en- 
lightened opinions in politics and in reli- 
gion, and who desire earnestly that Spain 
should be gradually assimilated in her insti- 
tutions, with the other civilized nations of 
Europe, — ^then the liberal party comprises 
the principal intelligence of the country ; 
and subtracting from the population, the 
lowest orders, the employees, the friars, and 
the priests, it possesses a great numerical 
majority. In any other country than Spain, 
this party would wield an influence to which 
its numerical strength would not entitle it ; 
but in Spain, the light of intellect spreads but 
a little way ; for it has to struggle with the 
thick mists of ignorance and superstition ; and 
when we say that the liberal party comprises 
nearly all the intelligence of the country, it 
must be remembered, that intelligence is but 
scantily sprinkled over the face of Spain ; and 
that, therefore, enlightened Spain, and en- 
lightened England, ought to convey very dif- 
ferent ideas of numerical strength. 

It is a curious fact, that the adherents of the 
existing government should be the fewest in 
number ; yet, this is certainly the truth. With 

SPAIN IN 1830. 303 

the exception of perhaps the majority of the 
employees, a part of the regular clergy, and 
the greater part of the army, its friends are 
very thinly scattered ; and its influence scarcely 
extends beyond the sphere of its actual benefits. 
Its patronage has been greatly circumscribed 
since the lost of the Americas ; its lucrative 
appointments are centred in a few ; and above 
all, its power and patronage are held bj'' so 
uncertain a tenure, that few, excepting those 
in the actual enjoyment of office, feel any 
assurance that their interests lie in supporting 
that which seems to hang together almost by 
a miracle. 

The only security of a despotic government 
is strength ; and this security the Spanish 
government wants altogether. It has no 
strength in the affections of the people gene- 
rally ; and even among t'le military and em- 
ployees, which are its only strength, there are 
many disaffected. When the king returned, 
after the overthrow of the constitution, every 
measure was adopted that might give a ficti- 
tious strength to the government : a clean 
sweep was made of all the employees, from 
the highest to the lowest; and whether hold- 

304 SPAIN IN 1830. 

ing their offices for life, or at pleasure. These, 
under the constitution, had been selected from 
amongst the best educated classes ; but all 
who had been connected with the liberal party 
being excluded from employment under the 
succeeding government, the public offices were 
necessarily filled up with persons of inferior 
station. Another stroke of policy was intended, 
in the distribution of office : in no country is 
there so great a division of labour in public 
employments as in Spain ; the duties of an 
office formerly held by one person, were de- 
legated to three, and the emoluments split in 
proportion, — by which policy, a greater num- 
ber of persons were interested in upholding 
the government. 

A third measure of policy I have mentioned 
in a former chapter ; that of remodelling the 
universities, and seminaries of learning, and 
putting them under the superintendence of 
Jesuits : and a fourth, was intended to secure 
the fidelity and increase the numerical strength 
of the military. To effect the first of these 
objects, a new body of guards, in all nearly 
20,000 men, was raised, and officered by 
children. The king said, he would not have 

SPAIN IN 18.30. 305 

a single officer in the guards old enough to 
understand the meaning of the word constitu- 
tion ; and even now, that several years have 
elapsed, the officers are, almost without ex- 
ception, boys. 

To protect the government by the numerical 
strength of military, his majesty invited the 
organization of a force to be called Royalist 
Volunteers, to come in place of the national 
volunteers who existed during the time of the 
constitution. The term volunteer was a mis- 
nomer; because government held out tempta- 
tions irresistible to the lower classes, — a new 
suit of clothes, and pay two days in the week, 
besides some other little gratuities : the con- 
sequence was, that a body called Royalist 
Volunteers, amounting to about 160,000, was 
speedily embodied. Such were the measures 
adopted by a government that sought to base 
itself, not upon the affections of the people, or 
upon its own merits; but which trusted rather 
in the zeal of hirelings, the precepts of Jesuits, 
and the purchased bulwark of bayonets. But 
these acts of political sagacity have added 
little to the real strength of the government : 

VOL. I. X 

306 SPAIN IN 1830. 

the change of all men in public office, made 
as many enemies as friends ; and the exclusion 
of so many educated men, created a necessity 
for the employment of many low and unprin- 
cipled men, who by their bad conduct, have 
helped to lower the government in public 
opinion. The fetters put upon education 
offended many, — because the change from a 
better to a worse plan of education was soon 
perceived by the heads of families, in the more 
limited range of knowledge offered to their 
children; and the establishment of a volunteer 
force, is well known throughout Spain to have 
endangered, rather than strengthened the go- 
vernment. That force is composed for the 
most part of the lowest orders; and it is quite 
a matter of notoriety, that the great majority 
of these men are Carlists, — a thing proved 
indeed by the discovery of the conspiracy, in 
which they had agreed to take an active part. 
With such elements as those which compose 
the adherents of government, and with so total 
an absence of that kind of support to which 
alone an absolute government dare trust, it 
seems impossible that the existing govern- 
ment can long maintain its authority; and the 

SPAIN IN 1830. 307 

probability of its dissolution will appear the 
greater, by citing a few facts, proving its utter 
rottenness; its perfect contempt of honour and 
justice in its dealings with its subjects; and its 
constant and flagrant acts of oppression. 1 
cannot well separate the examples, because 
the bad acts of the government are not simply 
oppression, or injustice ; but compounds of 
oppression, injustice, and weakness. I shall 
take them as they present themselves to my 

While I was in Madrid, a grandee, a favourite 
at court, whose name I regret I cannot recol- 
lect, being deeply in debt, and harassed by his 
creditors, and unwilling, although extremely 
wealthy, to limit the number of his enjoy- 
ments, went to the king and laid the case 
before his royal master; who, sympathizing in 
the pecuniary distress of the noble, exercised 
the prerogative of a king who is above law, by 
immediately presenting him with a royal order, 
by which he was secured in the undisturbed 
possession of his revenues for ten years, — his 
creditors being interdicted during that time 
from making any demand upon their debtor. 

X 2 

308 SPAIN IN 1830, 

The grandee called his creditors together; and 
when they supposed they were about to be 
paid, he produced the royal order, against 
which there was no appeal. No act of op- 
pression could be more base than this ; it was 
a total suspension of law, exercised without 
reason ; a royal license to commit robbery ; 
and of the worst kind, the robbery of the poor 
by the rich. It is more than probable, how- 
ever, that before the lapse of ten years, the 
signature of Ferdinand VII. will have ceased 
to inspire fear, or exact obedience. 

The following circumstance I know to be 
true. The Duke of Liria (Berwick) having 
got into difficulties, put himself under, or was 
put under secresto (sequestration), and was 
allowed 10,000/. per annum from his revenues. 
It so happened that the duke had an attack of 
gout, and that he was obliged in consequence 
to absent himself a few weeks from court. 
One evening, while he was sitting at home, a 
letter was delivered to him, sealed with the 
royal seal ; and, upon opening the letter, he 
found it to be an order of the king, that he 
should pay 2500/. of his income yearly to his 
grandmother in Paris. Thus, without process, 

SPAIN IN 1830. 309 

without cause, without any previous intima- 
tion made to the Duke of Berwick, without 
any opportunity being given to him of object- 
ing to this inroad upon his property, he was 
deprived, by a dash of the king's pen, of 2500/. 
per annum. This was accomplislied by the 
intrigue of the duke's grandmother. The 
sequel to the story, by which it will be seen 
that the duke regained his money, does not in 
any respect alter the act of tyranny that de- 
prived him of it; but only exemplifies the in- 
decision of the king's character. The duchess, 
who happened to be a spirited woman, and 
who knew the character of the king, imme- 
diately ordered her coach, drove to the palace, 
asked an audience, saw the king, and returned 
in less than an hour with the revocation of the 
order in her hand. 

While at Seville, I learned some very gross 
instances of injustice practised by the govern- 
ment in its dealings with its subjects. My 
authority could not be more authentic, because 
my informant — an old and highly respectable 
merchant — was himself the person who had 
suffered. A debt of IGOO/. was due to him by 
government, upon a contract for supplying 

310 SPAIN IN 1830. 

cartridge boxes ; this debt had been some 
years due, and he had applied for payment 
often, and in vain. At length, having some 
other business in Madrid, he resolved to at- 
tempt the recovery of the debt, by preferring 
his claim in the proper quarter. Day after day, 
he went to the minister ; sometimes he was 
denied admittance, — sometimes he saw the 
minister, and was always treated by him with 
the utmost rudeness : this was his first trans- 
action with government, and he had yet to 
learn its way of doing business. One day, 
when he was leaving the minister, and slowly 
passing towards the stair, a reverend gentle- 
man touched his sleeve, and begged to know 
what was the cause of his frequent visits to 
the minister : the merchant told him his busi- 
ness. " And do you expect to receive pay- 
ment of the debt ?" demanded the priest. " I 
despair of it," replied the merchant. " Then," 
resumed the priest, " you would probably 
sacrifice a small part to obtain the rest ;" and 
upon the merchant admitting that he would 
gladly do this, — " Come," said the priest, 
"^ to-morrow early, and I'll undertake that you 
shall have your money !" The merchant kept 

SPAIN IN 1830. 311 

his appointment; the priest was waiting — the 
merchant never saw the minister ; and in less 
than half an hour, the priest put into his hands 
an order for 1200/., upon the treasury at Se- 
ville; the remaining 400/. being the perquisite 
of the minister and his emissary : — yet even 
after this, it was necessary to sacrifice another 
100/., before payment of the order could be 
obtained at Seville. All this is according to 
usual practice : no settlement of any govern- 
ment account can be obtained without makinar 
a large sacrifice ; sometimes as much as a third, 
or even a half. The system of bribery is uni- 
versal, from the minister to the lowest official : 
sometimes the individual is robbed, sometimes 
the treasury. If the transaction lie between the 
government and an individual, the minister and 
his go-between are the gainers, and the con- 
tractor is robbed. If the affair lie between indi- 
viduals and employees — as officers of the cus- 
toms — afalse return of duties is made to govern- 
ment; the merchant and the employee pocket 
the difference; and the government is robbed: 
this is a regular part of the settlement of every 
custom-house transaction. At Malaga, I learnt 
a curious instance of this, adding another to 

312 SPAIN IN 1830. 

the many proofs of a weak and disorganized 
government. All vessels chartered from Gib- 
raltar for Malta, Corfu, or any foreign port in 
the Mediterranean, but carrying part cargo for 
Malaga, are obliged, while they remain at 
Malaga, to deposit all goods m transitu in the 
custom-house, as a preventive against smug- 
gling. Such vessels are well known to be 
freighted with English goods, or with tobacco, 
or with other goods either prohibited, or upon 
which high duties are payable : in fact, the 
vessel is a smuggler, — and how is this matter 
arranged ? The captain deposits a hundred 
bales of goods in the custom-house, being the 
whole of the goods entered for the foreign port ; 
and when the vessel leaves the port, the same 
number of bales must be shipped, — and so 
they are ; but during their deposit in the 
custom-house, they have suffered a wonderful 
diminution in bulk. Bales which measured a 
yard square, are reduced to the size of foot- 
balls ; the bales, such as they are, are re- 
shipped ; — the vessel has disburdened herself 
of her contraband cargo, and in place of pro- 
ceeding to Malta, returns to Gibraltar. I 
relate this, not of course as an example of 

SPAIN IN 1830. 313 

government oppression or injustice, but as a 
proof of the lax and unhinged state of the 
government, and of the total want of integrity 
that pervades every department of the public 
service : and before recurring to other in- 
stances of government oppression or injustice, 
let me mention another incident, proving that 
the same system extends even to the army. 
A regiment of cavalry arrived at Granada 
sometime last spring; and the soldiers being 
in want of new spurs, the colonel sent for a 
tradesman, and told him what he wanted. 
The tradesman named a certain price : " No," 
said the colonel, " you must let me have them 
at half that price;" the tradesman agreed, 
premising only that the spurs would not last 
a week. This was of no importance to the 
colonel; the spurs were delivered, the account 
was made out at the price first demanded, and 
being presented to the government office, the 
money was paid ; one half of which went to 
the blacksmith, and the other into the pocket 
of the colonel. 

The following case of extreme hardship was 
related to me by an English merchant at 
Seville, a man once extremely wealthy, but 

314 SPAIN IN 1830. 

who has suffered irreparable losses from the 
unjust acts of the government. He entered 
into a contract with government to supply the 
whole accoutrements for 12,000 cavalry. An 
order so extensive required great outlay, and 
constant attention. The accoutrements were 
completed ; and one half, according to the 
contract, delivered ; and when the time nearly 
approached for the delivery of the remaining 
quantity, an intimation was received, that no 
more could be taken, because, to please the 
people of Madrid, it was necessary to employ 
the workmen of the capital. Not only was 
there no indemnification made for the breach 
of the contract, by which goods to the value 
of 36,000/. were thrown upon the merchant's 
hands ; but the price of the delivered goods 
is to this hour unpaid. Four years have 
now elapsed, and he has no expectation of 
ever receiving one farthing; the debt being 
too large to be adjusted by the sacrifice of 
a part. 

While I was at Seville, considerable discon- 
tent was produced by a most unjust act of the 
government. All arrears of taxes due upon 
houses for the past thirty years, were claimed 

SPAIN IN 1830. 315 

from the actual proprietor : the consequence 
of which was, that upon the mere shewing of 
the government officer, proprietors were forced 
to pay arrears for a period in which the house 
was in other hands, and even in many cases, 
before the actual proprietors were born ! 

But more flagrant, at least more violent, 
acts of injustice and oppression are some- 
times committed. After the return of the 
king, between two and three hundred persons 
who had served in the national volunteers 
during the constitution, were seized in Bar- 
cellona, and shipped to Ceuta, — the Spanish 
Botany Bay, — ^where they now remain. Their 
crime was said to be, unadvised talk in the 
coffee houses; but this was never ascertained, 
because no form of trial was gone through ; 
and three years have not elapsed, since a man 
was hanged at Barcellona, without any one 
knowing what crime he had committed. 

The truest proofs of a good government, arc 
just laws ; and the best evidence of a well 
organized government, is to be found in their 
strict execution. Judging the Spanish go- 
vernment by these tests, it will appear the 
worst and weakest government that ever held 

316 SPAIN IN 1830. 

together. Justice of no kind, has any exist- 
ence ; there is the most lamentable insecurity 
of person and property: redress is never certain, 
because both judgment, and execution of the 
laws, are left to men so inadequately paid, 
that they must depend for their subsistence 
upon bribery. Nothing is so difficult as to 
bring a man to trial who has any thing in his 
purse, except to bring him to execution ; this, 
unless in Madrid, and in Catalunia, where the 
Conde de Espana is captain-general, is impos- 
sible ; for money will always buy indemnity. 
Every thing in Spain connected with the 
following out of the laws, is in the hands of 
the escrivanos ; these are the friends of all 
bad men : for whatever be the action a man 
may commit, or meditate, he has only to con- 
fide in the escrivano, and pay for his protec- 

The following remarkable fact, I had from 
the lips of an eye-witness, a highly respect- 
able American merchant, of Malaga. One day 
last winter, two butchers quarrelled in the 
market-place, and got to high words ; and one 
of them, according to the usual practice in 
such cases, put his hand under his girdle, and 

SPAIN IN 1830. 317 

half drew forth his knife. All the while, an 
escrivano, of known talent in his profession — a 
man who never allowed any one who confided 
in him, to be either tried or executed, stood 
close by. While the man still but half shewed 
his knife, as if uncertain whether to use it or 
no, the escrivano continued to jog him on the 
elbow : ** Da /e," (give it him), said the law- 
yer, ^'aqui estoy yo i' (don't you see that I am 
here, so that no harm can come to you). The 
butcher, however, had not been sufficiently 
roused, for he put up his knife ; and the 
escrivano, turning to him with a look of con- 
tempt, said, "Alma miserable!'' (mean-spirited 
creature), " and so, for the sake of 400 or 500 
reals, you would not revenge yourself upon 
your enemy." 

Before concluding these examples of a bad, 
weak, and tyrannical government, I cannot 
refrain from mentioning the case of a man, 
who has been in prison ever since the evacu- 
ation of Spain by the French army ; and who 
has still many years of punishment before him. 

Shortly after the Duke D'Angouleme took 
possession of Barcellona, the inhabitants were 
one morning awoke by the ringing of bells, 

318 SPAIN IN 1830. 

and other tokens of rejoicing : the cause of 
this was soon announced to be, that the Virgin 
of Monte Serrate, an image of silver or wood, — 
I forget which, — had come to Barcellona, of 
her own free will, probably considering herself 
more secure there, than in the convent of 
Montserrat; and about a year afterwards, when 
it became evident that the French intended 
no outrage upon the convent, it was given out 
that the virgin had signified her intention to 
return ; but it was determined, upon this occa- 
sion, that she should not be allowed to return 
by herself, but that she should be carried with 
great pomp. A Catalunian peasant, who stood 
in the line of procession, perhaps with better 
eye-sight — perhaps with less faith, than his 
neighbours, — unfortunately expressed aloud, 
the thought that passed through his mind : 
*' She 's only made of wood," said he ; — and for 
this offence, he was arrested, tried, and con- 
demned to ten years' imprisonment in the 
citadel ! 

These various facts will suffice, I think, as 
proofs of that which I intended they should 
illustrate : the despotism and the weakness of 
the Spanish government — the total want of 

SPAIN IN 1830. 319 

integrity that characterizes all its dealings — 
and its absolute inefficiency to execute the 
laws, either for its own protection, or for the 
redress of others. 

Such being the condition of the Spanish 
government, we are naturally led to ask our- 
selves, "What are its prospects?" Is it to be 
expected that a government, without one ele- 
ment either of virtue or of strength — without 
the physical strength that may long support 
a bad government — and without the moral 
strength of virtue, will be able long to 
maintain itself? One naturally answers, — 
" No," the thing cannot be; the whole system 
requires ploughing up, and it is impossible 
that there should not be a change, and that 
speedily! ! But the question is, what change? 
After the French revolution broke out, a change 
of government in Spain was generally ex- 
pected throughout both France and England; 
but the expectations upon this subject were 
certainly grounded upon an erroneous notion 
of the state of public feeling in Spain. I have 
no party to serve in giving my opinion ; it is 
formed, I think, without prejudice, upon what 
I have seen and heard while in the country ; 

320 SPAIN IN 1830. 

and I feel a confident persuasion, that the 
change hoped for by every friend of mankind, 
is still at a distance; and that the present 
government must yield to the strongest of the 
two parties that seek its downfal. Spain, I 
believe, has yet to pass through a fiery trial, 
before her days of freedom and happiness 
arrive : the change first to be expected, is one 
from despotism and weakness to greater des- 
potism and greater strength : and this will be 
a new reign of terror. I am not stating my 
own opinion merely, but the opinion of the 
most thinking and best informed classes in 
Spain — liberals, as well as Carlists and roy- 
alists. With many, it is a miracle that the 
party of Carlists have not, long ere now, 
obtained the upper hand ; a fact only to be 
accounted for, from the uncertainty that pre- 
vails as to the sentiments of the army. I 
recollect reading, in one of the French or 
English newspapers, a statement, that about 
the time the constitutionalists prepared to 
enter Spain, the minister sent for the different 
commanding officers of the guards stationed 
in Madrid, and demanded of them whether 
they could answer for their respective regi- 

SPAIN IX 1830. 321 

ments ; and that the rej3ly was, they could 
answer for themselves only : this statement 
was true, but the interpretation put upon the 
answer was erroneous. The government had 
at that time greater fears of the Carlists than 
of the Constitutionalists ; and the meaning of 
the officers, when they said they could answer 
only for themselves, was not — according to the 
interpretation annexed to the statement — that 
the troops were supposed to be of liberal sen- 
timents, but that it was feared they might be 
attached to the Carlists. The conspiracy for 
elevating that party, — detected during the 
autumn, —cannot be supposed to have crushed 
it. I know that after that period, meetings 
of its partizans were regularly held ; the in- 
trigues of the clergy still continued in active 
operation ; and subsequently to that period, 
the birth of a princess left the male succession 
open to the sons of Don Carlos. 

That the probabilities of a change to greater 
in place of to less despotism, may be more 
obvious, not only the strength and influence 
of parties must be looked to, but also the 
peculiarities of Spanish character. Viewing 

VOL. I. Y 

322 SPAIN IN 1830. 

the present state of Spain, there appears to 
exist a necessity for a more enlightened govern- 
ment; and one with difficulty persuades him- 
self of the probability of a revolution which 
would pull down one despotic government to 
raise another more despotic in its place. But 
an Englishman would judge very erroneously 
of the prospects of Spain, who should measure 
Spanish feeling by his own ; and considering 
what the people of England would do under 
similar circumstances, conclude that Spain 
will do likewise. The Spanish government 
will fall by its weakness, rather than by its 
vices ; it is the prospect of a stronger, not of 
a more virtuous government, that incites the 
exertions of the Carlists. The mass of the 
population of Spain take little heed of the 
vices of the government, and are entirely in- 
different about political privileges. The 
Basque provinces, which are the most en- 
lightened, have little to complain of; for they 
enjoy a multitude of privileges and exemp- 
tions which are well defined, and jealously 
maintained : and as for the Spaniard of the 
southern provinces, — give him his shade in 
summer, and his sunshine in winter ; his to- 

SPAIN IN 1830. 323 

bacco, his melon, his dates, his bread, and 
his wine; give him a hole to creep into, and 
put him within sound of a convent bell, and 
he asks no more : or if you rise a degree or 
two in society, and speak of the respectable 
peasant, then give to him his embroidered 
jacket, his tasseled hat, his guitar, and his 
mqja, (sweetheart, in the dialect of Andalusia), 
and it is matter of indifference to him, whether 
Spain be ruled by a Caligula or a Titus. 

The love of ease and pleasure, and the prone- 
ness to indolence that distinguish the charac- 
ter of the Spaniard, especially in the provinces 
south of Castile ; and his total ignorance of the 
uses and nature of political freedom, will yet, 
for many years, prove a barrier to the progress 
of free institutions in the Peninsula. It is 
true that this contentedness with his condi- 
tion, — this unripeness for political freedom, — 
this ignorance of the claims of his species, 
ought not to be alleged as any reason against 
the attempt to force free institutions upon 
him. It is that very ignorance, that unripe- 
ness, that false contentedness, that hasten the 
necessity for revolution ; because instruction, 
Y 2 

324 SPAIN IN 1830. 

without which no country can be rendered 
fit for the enjoyment of political rights, could 
never carry its light to the people, under a 
government like that of Spain. 

A series of attempts to establish liberal in- 
stitutions in Spain may be necessary, before it 
be found possible to sustain them ; but I 
believe that every new attempt will be at- 
tended with fewer obstacles. The most un- 
successful struggle against despotism, must 
produce good effects : accordingly, I do not 
agree in opinion with those who contend, that 
the movements of 1812 and 1820, retrograded 
the cause of liberty. It is certain, indeed, 
that the Spanish liberals then attempted im- 
possibilities ; they based the constitution upon 
principles of liberty, which Spain, nursed so 
long in despotism, was unable to support; 
yet the glimpse which Spain then caught of 
the light of freedom, — the knowledge that was 
conveyed through the medium of a free press 
to every part of the kingdom, and especially 
to all ranks in the metropolis, — and the unre- 
strained interchange of sentiment, opened the 
eyes of many, and prepared all, for a future 
and wiser attempt. Such an attempt may 

SPAIN IN 1830. 325 

yet be at some distance ; a more despotic, but 
a more vigorous government, may be able to 
repress, for some years, the declaration of 
principles hostile to those by which it is main- 
tained : but opinion will advance neverthe- 
less ; and the epoch will certainly arrive in 
the history of Spain, — as it must in all countries 
in which government stands still, — when men's 
opinions, which change, clash with institu- 
tions which change not. 

The attempt upon the Spanish frontier 
which followed the revolution in France, 
would scarcely deserve notice, but for the 
ignorance which it shewed of the state of 
public feeling in Spain. I was then in Madrid ; 
and I think 1 may venture to say, that this 
movement created less sensation in Spain 
than in any other country in Europe. An 
attempt far better organized, could not at that 
time have met with any success. The plans 
of the Carlists were then advancing; and the 
party was becoming every day more a subject 
of embarrassment and alarm to the govern- 
ment ; but the views of that party were a 
sufficient security against the designs of the 
other, whose ascendancy would at once have 

326 SPAIN IN 1830. 

annihilated the hopes of the Carlists, It 
was therefore sufficiently obvious, that if the 
aspect of things on the frontier became formid- 
able, the interest of the Carlists would lie in 
strengthening the hands of government. But 
all the well-informed classes, of whatever 
party, looked upon the attempt as ill advised, 
and certain of failure. I conversed at that 
time with many persons of liberal sentiments, 
who, with scarcely an exception, deprecated 
the attempt as rash and useless ; and ex- 
pressed deep regret that so many unfortunate 
men should expose themselves to the merciless 
policy of the government. It was well known, 
that both the Basque Provinces and Cata- 
lunia, — the two points at which the entry was 
made, — were to be depended upon for their 
loyalty, or their ultraism — sentiments alike 
hostile to the liberals. The Basque Provinces, 
which enjoy peculiar privileges, were the least 
interested in the liberal cause ; and Catalunia, 
one of the strong- holds of the Carlists, was 
governed by the Conde de Espafia, whose great 
experience, staunch loyalty, and decided cha- 
racter, are always considered a guarantee for 
the tranquillity of Catalunia. It was never 

SPAIN IN 1830. 327 

contemplated by the Spanish Government, to 
meet the attempt by any other weapon than 
force ; and even if the strength of the Consti- 
tutionalists had been far more formidable, and 
their success far more probable, conciliatory 
measures w^ould have been impossible ; it is 
perfectly understood that any act of the go- 
vernment savouring of liberalism, would at 
once be sealing it over to the power of the 

The result was as all had anticipated : no 
indication of favourable feeling, on the part of 
the peasantry, attended the movements of the 
invading force ; and without this, it was im- 
possible that it could maintain itself. The 
events that took place upon the frontier, were 
probably better known in England than in 
Spain : at all events, it does not fall in with 
my object to enter into a detail of them. 



Journey from Madrid; First View of the Escurial ; Philip II.; 
Situation of the Escurial; the Chuixh; Lucas Jordan; the 
Relics ; the Santa Forma ; the Sacristy and its Pictures ; a 
Reverie ; the Hall of Recreation ; the Library ; the Tomb 
of the Kings ; the Manuscript Library ; Ignorance and Idle- 
ness of the Monks, and Anecdotes ; Manner of Life among 
the Monks; the Palace; Particulars of the Extent and Cost 
of the Escurial ; Pedestrian Journey across the Sierra Guader- 
rama to St. Ildefonso ; the Palace, Waters, and Garden of 
La Granja; Road to Segovia ; its Remains, and Present 
Condition ; Expensiveness of Royal Honours ; Return to 

Before leaving Castile for Andalusia, I made 
two excursions, to objects well deserving a 
visit, — the Escurial and Toledo. To the for- 
mer of these, I shall dedicate the present 

SPAIN IN 18:50. 329 

Having hired a mule und a guide, I left 
Madrid one charming morning, before day- 
break; and passing out of the city by the gate 
de San Vincente, I proceeded up the bank of 
the river Manzanares along a good road, bor- 
dered on both sides by poplars and willows. 
From this road, the palace is a striking and 
beautiful object ; and the sun rising shortly 
after I had passed the gate, its blaze reflected 
from the innumerable windows, produced a 
magnificent and almost magical eftect. A 
league from the city, the road, crossing the 
river, leaves the stripe of scanty herbage that 
borders it, and enters upon the wide arid 
country, that extends all the way to the foot 
of the Sierra Guaderrama. Travelling in any 
direction from Madrid, there is little to nar- 
rate ; the country is wholly devoid of interest; 
there is scarcely any population; and no tra- 
vellers are seen on the road, to relieve its 
monotony, or attract the attention. 

During four leagues, the road continues to 
ascend almost imperceptibly, and then climbs 
the first of those ridges, that are connected 
with the outposts of the Sierra Guaderrama. 
From the lop of the ridge, about four leagues 

330 SPAIN IN 1830. 

and a half from Madrid, the Escurial is first 
seen reposing at the foot of the dark moun- 
tain that forms its back ground ; and although 
still fourteen miles distant, it appears in all 
that colossal magnitude that has helped to 
earn for it the reputation of being the ninth 
wonder of the world. Between this point and 
the village of San Lorenzo, there is nothing to 
interest, excepting the constant view of the 
Escurial, increasing in extent, rising in eleva- 
tion, and growing in magnificence, as the 
summit of every succeeding ridge discloses a 
nearer view of it. After a ride of seven hours 
and a half, I arrived in front of the Escurial a 
little after mid-day ; and dismissing my mule. 
I immediately presented myself at the gate 
with my credentials. These were, a letter 
from the Marquesa de Valleverde, to El muy 
Rev. Padre Buendia; and another from the 
Saxon minister, to the Librarian to the Grand 
Duke of Hesse Darmstadt, M. Feder, who had 
been for several months resident in the Escu- 
rial, employed in collating some classical 
works. The monks being then at dinner, I 
declined interrupting the enjoyment of the 
Father Buendia, and was ushered into a small 

SPAIN IN 1830. 331 

apartment in one of the angles opposite to the 
Sierra, where I remained about a quarter of 
an hour, while the monks continued their 

Most persons know that the Escurial was 
erected by that renowned monarch, Philip II., 
— renowned for his vices, his bigotry, and his 
ambition. The reasons assigned by PhiHp for 
the erection of this building are three-fold: — as 
a token of gratitude to God, on account of the 
victory gained over the French at St. Quintin ; 
as an act of devotion towards the holy martyr 
San Lorenzo ; and in fulfilment of the wish 
expressed in the last will of Charles V., that a 
sepulchre should be erected wherein to de- 
posit the bones of himself and the empress, 
the parents of Philip II. Another, and less 
ostensible reason assigned by this religious 
monarch, was that he might be able to retire 
at times from the turmoil of the court ; and in 
the seclusion of a royal monastery, profit by 
the lessons of holy men, and meditate upon 
theinstability of worldly grandeur: and Philip 
shewed in his practice the apparent sincerity 
of this motive ; for he was wont often to be an 
inmate of the Escurial ; and traits of his dc- 

332 SPAIN IN 1830 

votion and humiiity are yet related within its 

The situation chosen for the Escurial accords 
well with the gloomy character of its royal 
founder. There is no town or city nearer to it 
than Madrid, which is thirty-four miles dis- 
tant ; a wild and deserted country forms its 
horizon ; and the dark defiles and the brown 
ridges of the Sierra Guaderramn are its cradle. 
In the building itself, Philip royally acquitted 
himself of his vows; for a structure so stu- 
pendous in its dimensions, or so surpassing 
in its internal riches, is nowhere to be found. 
The building was begun in the year 1563, 
under the direction of Juan Bautista de To- 
ledo, and finished in 1584; Juan de Herrera 
presiding over the work during several years 
preceding its completion. 

My meditations were interrupted by the 
welcome entrance of Father Buendia, whom I 
found an agreeable and rather intelligent man, 
although a great worshipper of the memory 
of Philip II. I was first conducted into the 
church of the monastery, which certainly ex- 
ceeds in richness and magnificence any thing 
that I had previously imagined. It is quite 

SPAIN IN 1830. 333 

impossible to enter into minute descriptions of 
all that composes this magnificence : the 
riches of Spain, and her ancient colonies, 
are exhausted in the materials ; — marbles, 
porphyries, jaspers, of infinite variety, and of 
the most extraordinary beauty, — gold, silver, 
and precious stones ; and the splendid effect 
of the whole is not lessened by a nearer in- 
spection ; there is no deception, no glitter, — 
all is real. The vv^hole of the altar-piece in 
the Capilla Mayor, upM'ards of ninety feet high 
and fifty broad, is one mass of jasper, por- 
phyry, marble, and bronze gilded ; the eighteen 
pillars that adorn it, each eighteen feet high, 
are of deep red and green jasper, and the 
intervals are of porphyry and marble of the 
most exquisite polish, and the greatest variety 
of colour. It is, in fact, impossible to turn 
the eye in any direction in which it does 
not rest upon the rarest and richest treasures 
of nature, or the most excellent works of art ; 
for if it be withdrawn from the magnificence 
below, by the splendour of the ceiling above, 
it discovers those admirable frescos of Lucas 
Jordan, which have earned for him the charac- 
ter of a second Angelo. It would be tedious to 

334 SPAIN IN 1830. 

enlarge upon the subject of Jordan's frescos ; 
they are too numerous indeed to be described 
within the limits of a chapter ; but they com- 
prise, it may be said, the whole history of the 
Christian Religion, beginning from the Pro- 
mises, and are excelled only by the works of 
Angelo. The battle of St. Quintin, which 
ornaments the ceiling of the great stair-case, 
is considered to be one of the most excellent 
of Jordan's frescos. 

Lucas Jordan was born at Naples in the year 
1632. His father chanced to live near Espa- 
naletto, who was then in Italy ; and Jordan, 
from infancy, was constantly in his neighbour's 
workshop. At nine years old, he is said to 
have made great progress ; and at fourteen he 
ran away from his father's house, and went to 
Rome, where, it is said, his father following 
him, found him in the Vatican copying Michael 
Angelo's Last Judgment. At Rome he was the 
disciple of Pietro de Cortona; and he after- 
wards visited Florence, Bologna, Parma, and 
Venice, where he improved himself upon the 
style of Paul Veronese. Subsequently he 
went to Rome; but unable to forget Veronese, 
he again returned to Venice, w^here he re- 

SPAIN IN 1830. 335 

niained until called to Florence, in 1G57, to 
paint the cupola of the Capilla Corsini in the 
church of Carmine. He was afterwards in- 
vited to Spain by Charles II., and arrived in 
Madrid in 1692 ; and from that time until his 
death, his genius was employed in enriching 
the palaces and convents of Spain, particularly 
the Escurial. 

Having satisfied my curiosity with the 
church, and the frescos, I wished Father 
Buendia to conduct me to the sacristy, where 
are to be seen those glorious creations of the 
pencil, which have added the charm of beauty, 
to the grandeur and magnificence of the Escu- 
rial. But my conductor led me first to the 
relicary, whose contents were perhaps more 
valuable in his eyes than those of the sacristy. 
In this relicary, there were five hundred and 
fifteen vases before the invasion of the French ; 
but their number is now reduced to four hun- 
dred and twenty-two. These vases are of 
gold, silver, bronze gilded, and valuable wood; 
many of them thickly studded with precious 
stones: and upwards of eighty of the richest 
of these vases still remain. But the French, 
more covetous of the eold and silver than of the 

336 SPAIN IN 1830. 

relics, made sad confusion of the latter; for 
not caring to burden themselves with bones, 
and wood, and dirty garments, they emptied 
the little gold and silver vases upon the floor, — 
irreligiously mingling in one heap, relics of 
entirely different value. The labels indicating 
the relics having been upon the vases, the 
bones, &c. were without any distinguishing 
mark; so that it was impossible to discriminate 
between an arm of St. Anthonj'-, and the arm 
of St. Teresa, — or to know a bit of the true 
cross, from a piece of only a martyr's cross, — 
or a garment of the Virgin Sin Pecada, from 
one of only the Virgin of Rosalio : and as for 
the smaller relics, — parings of nails, hair, &c. 
many were irrecoverably lost. But with all 
this confusion, and all these losses, the Escu- 
rial is still rich in relics. Several pieces of 
the true cross yet remain ; a bit of the rope 
that bound Christ ; two thorns of the crown ; 
a piece of the sponge that was dipped in 
vinegar; parts of His garments, and a fragment 
of the manger in v^hich he was laid. Making 
every allowance for bigotry and excess of ill- 
directed faith, I cannot comprehend the feel- 
ing that attaches holiness to some of these 

SPAIN IN 1830. 337 

relics : it is impossible to understand what 
kind of sacredness that is, which belongs to 
articles that have been the instruments of 
insult to the Divine Being. Besides these 
relics of our Saviour, there are several parts 
of the garments of the Virgin; there are ten 
entire skeletons of saints and martyrs ; the 
body of one of the innocents, massacred by 
command of Herod ; and upwards of a hun- 
dred heads of saints, martyrs, and holy men ; 
besides numerous other bones still distinguish- 

But the peculiar glory of the Escurial, and 
its most wondrous relic, is the Santa Forma, 
as it is called ; in reality, " the wafer," in 
which the Deity has been pleased to manifest 
himself in three streaks of blood; thus proving 
the doctrine of transubstantiation. This relic 
has been deemed worthy of a chapel and an 
altar to itself. These are of extraordinary 
beauty and richness ; and adorned with the 
choicest workmanship: jaspers, marble, and 
silver are the materials ; and bas reliefs^ in 
white marble, relate the history of the Santa 
Forma ; which is shortly this. It was origin- 

VOL. I. z 

338 SPAIN IN 1830. 

ally in the cathedral church of Gorcum in 
Holland, and certain heretics (Zuinglianos) 
entering the church, took this consecrated 
host, threw it on the ground, trod upon the 
it, and cracked it in three places. God, to 
shew his divine displeasure, and at the same 
time, as a consolation to the christians, mani- 
fested himself in three streaks of blood, which 
appeared at each of the cracks. One of the 
heretics, struck with the miracle, and re- 
penting of his crime, lifted the Santa Forma 
from the ground, and deposited it, along with 
a record of the miracle, in a neighbouring con- 
vent of Franciscans, who kept and venerated 
it long ; the delinquent, who abjured his 
heresy, and who had taken the habit, being- 
one of their number. From this convent it 
was translated to Vienna, and then to Prague; 
and there its peregrinations terminated : for 
Philip II. being a better Catholic than the 
Emperor Rodolph, prevailed upon the latter 
to part with it, and deposited it in the Es- 
curial ; where it has ever since remained. It 
had a narrow escape from being again trodden 
upon, during the French invasion : upon the 
approach of the enemy it was hastily snatched 

SPAIN IN 1830. 339 

from the sacred depositary, and unthinkingly 
hid in a wine butt, where it is said to have ac- 
quired some new, and less miraculous stains : 
and after the departure of the French, a solemn 
festival was proclaimed on the 14th of October, 
1814; upon which occasion, his present ma- 
jesty, assisted by all his court, and by half the 
friars of Castile, rescued the Santa Forma from 
its inglorious concealment, and deposited it 
again in the chapel which the piety of Charles 
II. had erected for it. The Santa Forma is 
not shewn to heretics ; but its history is re- 
lated : and it was evident, by the manner of 
the friar who related it to me, that he placed 
implicit belief in the miraculous stains. 

Besides the general relicary and the peculiar 
chai)el for the Santa Forma, there is another 
smaller relicary, called the Camarin, into 
which Father Buendia conducted me. Here 
I was shewn an earthen pitcher, one of those 
which contained the water that Jesus turned 
into wine ; and affixed to the pitcher, there is 
a writing, narrating the manner in which the 
vessel found its way into the Escurial. I was 
also shewn three caps of Pope Pius V. ; and a 

7. 2 

340 SPAIN IN 1830. 

stone which was taken from his Holiness' 
bladder ; besides several manuscripts written 
by the hand of St. Teresa, and St. Augustin ; 
and the ink-horn of the former saint. 

I might still have been gratified by the sight 
of more relics; but I was anxious to visit the 
sacristy, which contains relics of another kind. 
The sacristy itself, in its walls, roof, and floor, 
equals in beauty, any part of the Escurial ; 
but the beauty of jaspers and precious stones, 
and the excellent workmanship of many rare 
and beautiful woods, are unheeded, where 
attractions are to be found so far excelling 
them. It is in the sacristy of the Escurial, 
where the choicest works of the most illustrious 
painters of the great schools are preserved ; 
and of these we may say, what can rarely be 
said of any collection, that among the forty- 
two pictures that adorn the sacristy, there is 
not one that is not a chef (Tceuvre. Among 
these, there are three of Raphael, one of them 
known all over the world by the name of La 
Perla ; two of Leonardo da Vinci ; six of 
Titian, and many of Tintoretto, Guido, Ve- 
ronese, and other eminent masters. La Perla 
represents the Virgin embracing the infant 

SPAIN IN 1830. 341 

Jesus, with her right arm round his body, while 
he rests his feet upon her knee ; the Virgin's 
left hand lies upon the shoulder of Saint Anne, 
who kneels at her daughter's side ; her elbow 
resting upon her knee, and her head supported 
by her hand. The child, St. John, offers fruits 
to the infant Christ in his little garment of 
camel-skin ; and Jesus accepting them, turns 
at the same time his smiling face towards his 
mother, who is looking at St. John. Such is 
the subject of La Perla, a picture that would 
have placed Raphael where he now stands 
among the illustrious dead, even if he had never 
painted the Transfiguration, — any critique upon 
a painting of Raphael would be impertinent. 
While I was occupied with the treasures of 
the sacristy, a bell rang for prayers ; and as it 
was contrary to the rules of the monastery to 
leave the door of the sacristy open, I was 
locked in, while Father Buendia went to his 
devotions. This was precisely the most agree- 
able thing that could have happened : a large 
chair, which looked as old as the days of Philip 
II., stood below the altar of the Santa Forma ; 
and drawing it into the middle of the sacristy, 
and sitting down, I spent the next half-hour 

342 SPAIN IN 1830. 

luxuriously ; not as might have been ima- 
gined, in admiration of the immortal works 
around me ; but in a waking dream, that carried 
me away from the Escurial, and back to the 
days of boyhood, when throwing aside my 
Horace, I used to seize an old book, which I 
have never seen since then, called " Swin- 
burne's Travels," and devour the descriptions 
of the Escurial ; its immensity, its riches, its 
monks, its tomb of the kings, — not its pictures, 
for I was then ignorant of even the name of 
Raphael, — but this knowledge came later, 
and all was blended together in this delicious 
reverie, which was in fact a vision of the Es- 
curial, as imagination had pictured it in bygone 
days. But the great key, entering the door, 
annihilated twenty years, and brought me 
where I was, seated in the great chair in the 
sacristy of the Escurial ; and after another 
glance at the pictures, I followed Father 
Buendia to the old church and the cloister; 
but in passing to these, we entered the Hall 
of Recreation, or as it is called. La Sala 
Prioral. Here the monks assemble^at cer- 
tain hours, to converse, and enjoy each 
other's society ; and for this pujpose, they 

SPAIN IN 1830. 343 

have made choice of the most comfortable 
room in the monastery. Although in Spain, 
and only the beginning of September, a stove 
was lighted ; benches, and even some stuffed 
chairs, were scattered here and there. The 
windows look over the garden and fish-ponds, 
from which, on meagre days, the worthy fathers 
contrive to eke out a repast ; and the walls of 
the hall are adorned by some most choice pic- 
tures by Peregrini, Guercino, Titian, Guido ; 
among others, a half-clothed Magdalen, by 
Titian, — scarcely a suitable study for these 
holy men ; and, ** Magdalen at the Feet of 
Jesus:" ascribed to Correggio, but which, 
Mengs, in his notices of the life and works of 
Correggio, supposes to have been left imper- 
fect by that master, and to have been finished 
by another hand : but it is, at all events, a 
charming picture. 

From the Sala Prloral, we went to the Iglcsia 
Viga, which is remarkable only on account of 
its pictures ; among which, is one of Raphael : 
and from the Iglesia Vieja, I was next con- 
ducted through the cloisters, also adorned 
with pictures, to the great Library. This is a 
magnificent room ; the ceilings in fresco, by 

344 SPAIN IN 1830. 

Peregrini and Carducho, represent the pro- 
gress of the sciences ; the floor is of chequered 
grey and white marble ; and the finest and 
rarest woods encase the windows, the doors, 
and the books. The library is more curious 
than extensive ; it does not contain more than 
24,000 volumes, but many of these are scarce; 
and among others, they shew a copy of the 
Apocalypse of St. John, with a commentary, 
and illuminated borders, and the devotional 
exercises of Charles V., &c. The day was 
almost spent before I reached the library ; 
the light streamed but dimly through the deep 
windows ; and the portraits of Charles, and 
his son, — the gloomy-minded founder of the 
monastery, — frowned darkly from the walls. 
It was too late to examine the Manuscript 
Library; and making an appointment with 
Father Buendia for the morning, I left the 
Escurial for the Posada, where I had ordered 
a bed, and a late dinner. I was offered both 
refreshments and a bed, in the monastery ; 
but having a better opinion of the dinner I had 
ordered than of a supper in the refectory, (for 
it chanced to be Friday), I forced an excuse 
upon the reverend father. 

SPAIN IN 1830. 345 

Although it was ahiiost niglit within the 
Escurial, I found day without. It was yet 
too early to expect dinner at the Posada; and 
therefore, skirting the small straggling village 
of San Lorenzo, I climbed up among the defiles 
and ridges of the sierra that forms the back- 
ground to the monastery and its tributary 
village. The sun had already set, and dusk 
was creeping over the distant landscape ; and, 
excepting the vast and magnificent building 
below, there was scarcely a trace of human 
existence, for a ridge of the sierra shut out 
the little village of San Lorenzo : and the only 
sound I heard, was the bell from the monas- 
tery. To me, there is nothing poetic in a 
convent bell ; it only reminds me of bigotry 
and ignorance, absurd penance, or sinful hypo- 
crisy. It was almost dark before I reached 
the Posada, where I had the pleasure of pass- 
ing an agreeable evening with M. Feder, 
whom I have spoken of already, and must 
always speak of, as a learned and an amiable 

Next morning, I again claimed the good 
offices of Father Buendia, and was conducted 
by him to "the Tomb of the Kings;" per- 

346 SPAIN IN 1830. 

haps the most magnificent sepulchre in the 
world. It is impossible to conceive any thing 
more gorgeous than this mausoleum : the de- 
scent is by a deep staircase, underneath the 
great altar of the church ; the walls of the 
staircase being entirely of blood-jasper, of the 
utmost beauty and polish. The mausoleum 
itself is circular ; the walls are of jasper, and 
black marble : and in rows, one over another, 
are ranged the coffins of the kings of Spain. 
They are all here, these masters of a hemi- 
sphere ! a little dust in these gorgeous urns, is 
all that remains of the mighty kings whose 
deeds fill volumes — of Charles, who kept the 
world in a flame, and left it for a cloister, — of 
Philip, for whose ambition and crimes it was 
too narrow. Death certainly owns no other 
palace like this. The queens of Spain are not 
all here ; only those who have given birth to 
an heir to the throne. There are eight kings, 
and eight queens, on opposite sides of the 
mausoleum ; and a splendid urn stands empty 
and open, destined to receive the present in- 
heritor of the throne, who, when he visits the 
Escurial, never fails to enter his tomb, there to 
receive, if not to profit by, a lesson upon the 

SPAIN IN 1830. 347 

duties of kings, and the common destinies of 
all. A lamp, always burning, is suspended 
from the centre of the mausoleum, giving just 
sufficient light to make legible the names of 
its owners, inscribed in gold letters upon a 
bronze tablet. I did not enter the Pantheon 
of the Infantas, which contains no fewer than 
fifty- nine urns. 

From the mausoleum, I was conducted to 
the Manuscript library, which is far more 
valuable than the other. Although, previous 
to the conflagration in 1671, it contained many 
more treasures than it does now, it is still one 
of the most valuable manuscript libraries in 
Europe. The number of manuscripts yet pre- 
served there, exceeds 4000 ; nearly one half 
of the whole being Arabic, and the rest in 
Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and the vulgar tongues. 
I shall name a very few of the most remark- 
able. There are two copies of the Iliad, of 
the tenth and twelfth centuries ; but these 
are not scarce ; and indeed, a very great 
number of the manuscripts are copies of origi- 
nals preserved in the libraries of Italy. There 
are many fine and ancient Bibles, particularly 
in Greek ; and one Latin copy of the Gosi)els, 

348 SPAIN IN 1830. 

of the eleventh century. There are two books 
of ancient councils, in Gothic characters, and 
illuminated ; the one of the year 976, called 
the Codigo Vigilano, because written by a 
monk called Vigilia; the other of the year 
994, written by a priest named Velasco. A 
very ancient Koran is also shewn ; and a work 
of some value, written in six large volumes, as 
it is said by the command of Philip II., upon 
the Revenues and Statistics of Spain. But 
the most ancient manuscript is one of poetry, 
written in the Longobardic, and dated as far 
back as the ninth century. The Arabic manu- 
scripts are also many and curious ; and the 
manner in which these came into the hands 
of the Spaniards was accidental. Pedro de 
Lara being at sea, met some vessels carrying 
the equipage of the Moorish king Zidian : 
these vessels he fought with, and took ; and 
found among other precious things, more than 
three thousand Arabic manuscripts. The 
Moorish king, subsequently offered sixty 
thousand ducats for their restitution ; but the 
overture was rejected, and restitution was pro- 
mised only on condition that the whole of the 
Christian captives should be released ; but 

SPAIN IN 1830. 349 

this demand not being complied with, the 
manuscripts were sent to the Escurial. 

The monks of the Escurial live too much at 
their ease to acquire habits of study. The 
monks in the olden time were not altogether 
useless ; for to their industry and perseverance 
we owe the preservation and multiplication 
of many of the most esteemed authors of anti- 
quity : but the friars of the present day have 
sadly degenerated ; they make no use of the 
treasures which their convents contain ; and 
of this truth, the monks of the Escurial afford 
a lamentable example. A gentleman with 
whom I am acquainted, and who passed the 
whole of every day during three months in the 
library of the Escurial, assured me that all 
that time, not one friar ever entered to ask for, 
or examine a book. I am acquainted with 
another proof of the ignorance or idleness of 
the monks of the Escurial. A literary society 
in one of the German states, being desirous of 
publishing the works of the elder Pliny, and 
believing that some assistance might be ob- 
tained from the library of the Escurial, applied 
to the Spanish government upon the subject ; 
and orders were accordingly given to the libra- 

350 SPAIN IN 1830. 

rian of the Escurial, to search, and to report 
upon the works of Pliny contained in the 
library. An answer was given, that it con- 
tained no complete or useful work of Pliny, — 
but only an abbreviation. A literary gentle- 
man, however, from the same German state, 
having obtained access to the library for other 
purposes, found two perfect copies of Pliny's 
Natural History. It is scarcely possible to 
suppose that the librarian could have been 
ignorant of the existence of these ; and the 
only alternative therefore is, that he denied 
any knowledge of them, from the dread of 
receiving some command that might interfere 
with his love of idleness. 

At present there are one hundred monks in 
the monastery of the Escurial ; and from all 
that I could learn, they have no great reason 
to complain of their lot. The order of St. Ge- 
ronimo, to which they belong, is not one of the 
strict orders : it allows a good table and un- 
interrupted rest ; and prescribes few fasts, and 
probably no penance. Each monk has at least 
two apartments, and a small kitchen where a 
little refresco may be prepared at any time, 
without troubling the cooks below. There are 

SPAIN IN 1830. 351 

many fine terraces round the building, and a 
tolerably shady garden, where the fathers have 
the benefit of air, without hard exercise ; and 
in the fish ponds, there is an inexhaustible 
source of amusement, in which the kino- when 
he visits the Escurial, condescends to join 
every day after dinner. I saw no monk, who 
did not seem contented ; and although with 
the opportunities which they enjoy, they are 
both idle and ignorant, I found them tolerably 
well informed upon common topics, and greatly 
interested in the news of the day. It would 
seem, however, that they have not much access 
to know what passes in the world ; for one of 
their number preferred a request to me, that 
before leaving Madrid, I would write him a 
letter containing the latest news from France, 
and from the frontier : scarcely any one but a 
monk dared have made such a request; but 
the friars are a privileged class. 

The palace adjoining the monastery, is 
scarcely worth a visit after seeing the magnifi- 
cence of the latter: any where else, it would 
be a splendid edifice. I merely walked through 
the apartments. Altogether, although the Es- 
curial be scarcely entitled to the appellation 

352 SPAIN IN 1830. 

of the ninth wonder of the world ; it is confess- 
edly the most wonderful edifice in Europe, 
whether in dimensions or riches. To give 
some better idea of these, than a general de- 
scription can convey, I shall add the following 
short enumeration. 

In the Escurial, there are fifty-one bells ; 
forty-eight wine cellars ; eighty staircases ; 
seventy-three fountains ; eight organs ; twelve 
thousand windows and doors ; and eighteen 
hundred and sixty rooms. There are fifteen hun- 
dred and sixty oil paintings ; and the frescos, 
if all brought together, would form a square of 
eleven hundred feet. The circumference of 
the building, is 4800 feet — nearly three quar- 
ters of a mile. 

From a book kept in the monastery, con- 
taining an account of the sums expended on 
the building, &c., I made the following ex- 
tracts, which may be esteemed by some, as 
curious. The mason-work of the monastery 
cost 5,512,054 reals ; the marbles, porphyries, 
and jasper employed on the church, cost 
5,343,825 reals; the labour of placing each 
square on the floor, thirteen reals ; the painting 
of the church, including the frescos of Jordan, 

SPAIN IN 1830. 353 

291,270 reals; the organs 295,997 reals ; the 
workmanship of the choir (the king having pre- 
sented the wood) 206,200 reals; the two hun- 
dred and sixteen volumes used in the choir, 
493,284 reals ; the whole of the bronze railings 
556,828 reals ; the wood, lead, bells and gilding 
of the church, 3,200,000 reals ; the paintings of 
the library, 199,822 reals ; the ornaments of the 
sacristy, 4,400,000 reals ; the materials of the 
mausoleum, 1,826,031 reals. This is but a 
very small part of the cost of the edifice, 
because here are none of the gold and silver 
ornaments, urns, or precious stones ; none of 
the bronze, except the railings ; none of the 
oil paintings ; nor almost any part of the work- 
manship. I have stated the cost in reals, as it 
appears in the book ; but any of the sums 
divided by 100, will give the value in pounds 
sterling nearly, though not precisely. 

After having seen all that merits observation 
in the interior of the building, I walked over 
the terraces and gardens, where I met many 
of the holy fathers taking their evening prome- 
nade, several with segars in their mouths ; and 
then leaving the garden, 1 extended my walk 

VOL. I. 2 a 

354 SPAIN IN 1830. 

to a country house which the present kmg 
built and adorned : there is nothing regal about 
the place, excepting a picture of his majesty. 

My intention being to pass the Sierra Gua- 
darrama to visit St. Ildefonso and Segovia, I 
inquired for a mule at the village where I 
slept ; but the price demanded was so ex- 
orbitant — no less than six dollars each day, 
besides the maintenance of the guide — that I 
resolved to save the expense altogether, by 
being a pedestrian, and my own guide. This 
determination, I however kept to myself, be- 
cause it is never prudent in Spain, to pub- 
lish an intention of making a solitary journey. 

Next morning, I left the Escurial at the 
earliest dawn; and following the only road I 
saw leading to the North, I soon found myself 
ascending among the ridges of the Sierra. 
The sun rose when 1 had walked about an 
hour. The morning was fresh, and even chill ; 
but the sky was blue and cloudless, the sun- 
shine bright, and the air bracing and elastic ; 
the road, too, became more interesting as I 
ascended higher, — entering into the heart of 
the mountain, and abounding in those moun- 
tain views, which have so many charms be- 

SPAIN IN 1830. 355 

yond the dull monotony of a plain. I did not 
meet a single traveller during" the first three 
hours ; and I passed three crosses, one of 
them recording a murder committed so lately 
as the year 1828, upon a merchant of Segovia. 
About four leagues from the Escurial, I passed 
a small house, situated in a little hollow, at a 
short distance from the road : and althouirh 1 
should have been glad to rest awhile, and take 
what refreshment the house afforded, its situa- 
tion was so solitary, and the scenery around 
so desolate, that I judged it safer to continue 
my journey. Shortly after passing this house, 
I reached the Puerto de Fuenfria, the summit 
of the Sierra; taking its name, "Pass of the 
Cold Fountain," from some icy springs that 
bubble near ; from one of which I took a long 
and refreshing draught. The scenery here is 
of the wildest description. The mountain is 
full of deep cuts and ravines, most of them 
the courses of winter torrents ; aged and 
stunted pines hang upon their edges, and are 
strewn upon the brown acclivities around ; 
while bare, huge, misshapen rocks project 
over the path, and often force it to skirt the 
brink of giddy and undefended precipices. 
2 A 2 


SPAIN IN 1830, 

When the Pass lays open the view to the north 
of the Sierra, the prospect is fine and extensive ; 
but anxious to reach St. Ildefonso, I scarcely 
paused to survey it ; and in less than two 
hours more, I delivered my letter to Don 
Mateo Frates, governor of the palace. 

The palace of St. lldefonso, or as it is more 
commonly called in Spain, La Granja, was 
built by Philip V., who undoubtedly made a 
better choice than his predecessor, the founder 
of the Escurial ; for if a cool breeze is any 
where to be found in Spain during the heat of 
summer, it is at St. lldefonso that it must be 
sought. It is placed in a spot where the 
mountains fall back, leaving a recess sheltered 
from the hot air of the south, and from much of 
its sun ; but exposed to whatever breeze may be 
wafted from the north. The immediate accli- 
vity towards the south, is occupied by the 
garden, which, although somewhat formal in 
the immediate neighbourhood of the palace, is 
full of shade and coolness. Almost every one 
has heard of the waters of La Granja ; these 
were politely oifered to be displayed for my 
amusement; but artificial water- works have 
no great charms for me ; and besides, when 

SPAIN IN 1830. 357 

we see the fountains, it is not difficult to fancy 
the play of the waters. I have no doubt, how- 
ever, that the effect is striking ; and during 
the heats of summer, so many jets must pro- 
duce an agreeable influence upon the sur- 
rounding atmosphere. The fountains and falls 
are innumerable ; one of them, Fame seated 
on Pegasus, raises a jet to the height of one 
hundred and thirty- two feet ; and in another 
spot, called the Plazuela de las ocho Calles, 
eight fountains unite, forming a beautiful and 
chaste temple of the Ionic order, adorned by 
columns of white marble. The expense of 
constructing the garden of La Granja has been 
enormous ; it has generally been computed 
to amount to upwards of seven millions ster- 

The principal front of the palace faces the 
garden ; it is one hundred and eighty yards 
long, and in every respect palace-like ; but it 
struck me as being too large, too formal, and 
too fine, to be in perfect keeping with the sur- 
rounding scenery ; the wild defiles of the 
Sierra Guadarrama required a different kind 
of palace. The interior is in every thing regal ; 

358 SPAIN IN 1830. 

and is adorned by some choice works of the 
first masters ; though many which formerly 
belonged to this palace have been removed to 
the Madrid museum. 

In speaking of St. Ildefonso, let me not 
omit to mention the renowned manufactory of 
mirrors ; which are, at all events, the largest, 
if not the finest in the world. The mould in 
which the largest are made, is thirteen feet 
and a half one way, seven feet nine inches the 
other, and six inches deep. Some of the 
mirrors made at St. Ildefonso, have found 
their way into most of the royal palaces of 

I supped luxuriously upon venison, and ac- 
cepted a bed in the palace ; but before retiring 
to it, I had the pleasure of partaking of a bot- 
tle of Valde Penas from the king's cellar. This 
is a wine of which no idea can be formed, 
judging of it by the samples commonly found 
either in the public or private houses of Ma- 
drid. Like many other of the Spanish wines, 
it requires age to mellow it ; and it has be- 
sides most commonly acquired, less or more, 
a peculiar flavour from the skins in which 

SPAIN IN 1830. 359 

it is brought from La Maiicha. The king's 
wine is no doubt carried in some other 

Segovia is only two leagues from La Granja, 
and I had intended to have been there to an 
early breakfast; but whether it be that one 
sleeps sounder in a palace than elsewhere, or 
that Val de Penas is of a soporific quality, it 
is certain, that in place of awaking as usual 
before day-break, half the mountain was 
bathed in sunbeams when I looked out of my 
window. I found a good breakfast of coffee 
and its adjuncts (a rare luxury in Spain) 
waiting me below ; and I also found that a 
horse and a servant were in readiness to facili- 
tate my transport to Segovia. I would will- 
ingly have dispensed with this kindness ; for 
although I have no objection to a horse, 
guides and attendants of every kind arc my 
abhorrence ; but there was no escape, — and I 
left La Granja mounted and escorted. 

The road betwixt La Granja and Segovia, 
is particularly pleasing : it lies along the ridges 
of the Sierra, — ascending and descending, 
and catching every moment chaiining views 
both of mountain scenerv, and of a more cul- 

360 SPAIN IN 1830. 

tivated and living landscape. The morning 
was beautiful, even for Spain, v^here all the 
mornings are beautiful ; and I went no faster 
on my royal charger than if I had been on 
foot, — often pausing to admire the surrounding 
prospects : these did not rise into the sublime, 
nor could they be classed with the beautiful 
or the romantic ; but they were varied and 
agreeable — soothing and exhilarating by turns : 
deep silent valleys, running up into the moun- 
tains, spotted with pine, and covered with the 
enamel of beauteous heaths ; streams, glanc- 
ing like liquid silver, or spreading over little 
hollows, gleaming like mirrors set in a rugged 
frame ; smooth knolls, grown over with aromatic 
plants and flowering shrubs ; and herds of 
gentle deer, raising their heads, advancing at 
a short run, and then stopping to gaze at me 
as I passed by. These deer, however, so 
beautiful to look at, are a scourge to this part 
of the country, which is in most parts sus- 
ceptible of cultivation ; and which, but for the 
license allowed these favourite animals, might 
yield an abundant produce. 

The first sight of the celebrated aqueduct 
disappointed me ; because it merges imper- 

SPAIN IN 1830. 361 

ceptibly among the houses ; but if contem- 
plated in its individual parts, and followed 
throughout its range, it rises into that conse- 
quence which has been universally accorded 
to it. It contains no fewer than one hundred 
and fifty-nine arches ; its length is seven 
hundred and fifty yards; and the height, in 
crossing the valley, is ninety-five feet. I will 
not, however, avow an enthusiasm which I 
did not feel. The celebrated aqueduct of 
Segovia failed to make so strong an impression 
upon me as the Pont de Garde, near Nismes. 
This I must ever look upon as one of the most 
majestic and striking relics of antiquity now 

I regret that I was tempted to avail myself 
of an opportunity of returning to Madrid, 
which left me too little time to devote to 
Segovia. I arrived in Segovia about mid-day, 
and chanced to learn that digallero, on springs, 
would leave Segovia next morning, at four 
o'clock, and reach Madrid the same day. To 
walk once from the Escurial to Segovia, was 
rather desirable than otherwise, but a repeti- 
tion of the walk would have been tedious ; 

362 SPAIN IN 1830. 

and as no other conveyance was likely to leave 
Segovia for some days, I agreed to be the 
fifth passenger, and had therefore only a few 
hours to devote to Segovia. But this time 
sufficed for the aqueduct, the cathedral, and 
the alcazar. The cathedral did not strike me 
as being particularly interesting ; and with the 
recollection which I now have before me, of 
Toledo and Seville, the cathedral of Segovia 
seems scarcely worth a notice. The Alcazar 
pleased me more; but this too, after subse- 
quently seeing the Alhambra of Granada, 
appears insignificant. 

Segovia is a decayed city, like most of the 
other cities of Spain ; and if considered with 
reference to its former opulence and conse- 
quence, its decay is the more striking. Two 
hundred years ago, the cloth manufactory of 
Segovia gave employment to 34,000 hands, 
and consumed nearly 25,000 quintals of wool ; 
fifty years ago, these were reduced to a sixth 
part; and now, the manufactory is in a state 
of perfect abeyance, the trade having been 
chiefly transferred to the kingdom of Valencia. 
Ill this city, of twenty-five parishes, and con- 

SPAIN IN 1S30. 363 

taining twenty-one convents, the inhabitants 
scarcely reach ten thousand. 

The Posada in Segovia, I found remarkably 
bad ; and the posadero seemed resolved to 
give at least a fictitious value to his articles, 
by the high price which he set upon them. 
As I was to leave Segovia at the early hour of 
four, I called for la cuenta before going to bed ; 
and to my astonishment, three dollars were 
demanded for my stewed rabbit, and a room 
so full of mosquitos that I spent half the night 
in planning warfare, and the other in execut- 
ing slaughter. I told him no one would travel 
in his country, if all the innkeepers charged 
travellers as he did, — such charges would ruin 
any body. And now the secret of his exorbi- 
tant demand came out. " Oh, but," said he, 
*'poor travellers don't ride upon the king's 
horses, escorted by the king's servants ;" and 
so my royal bearer, and his royal attendant, 
cost me two dollars. I paid my money, and 
consoled myself with thinking that it was })ro- 
bably the last time I might bear a resemblance 
to majesty. 

At the appointed hour I took my place in 


SPAIN IN 1830. 

the gallero, smarting with mosquito bites, 
and glad to rest from the work of destruc- 
tion ; and after a drive along a road which 
I already knew, I found myself in my apart- 
ment in the Calle de la Madelina a little after 



Journey from Madrid; Proofs of the backwardness of Spain; 
Appearance of the Country; Spanish Mule-driving; a Venta; 
First View of Toledo ; Toledo Recreations and Society ; 
Remains of Former Grandeur, and Proofs of Present Decay ; 
Picturesque Views; theTagus; Intricacy of Toledo; Bigotry 
and Priestcraft; Reasons for the Prevalence of Religious 
Bigotry in Toledo ; Proofs of Bigotry ; Aspect of the Popu- 
lation; the Cathedral and its Riches; Scene in the Cathedral; 
the Alcazar ; Historical Retrospect ; Praiseworthy Institu- 
tions of the Archbishop Lorenzana; the University; Toledo 
Sword Manufactory ; the Franciscan Convent ; Return to 

A few weeks before I visited Toledo, a pub- 
lie conveyance had been for the first time 
established between that city and the capital. 
This conveyance left Madrid every alternate 
day, and partook of the double nature of a 

366 SPAIN IN 18;50. 

waggon, and of a diligence : externally, it was 
a waggon ; but seats within, and glass win- 
dows, entitled it to the rank of a diligence. 
I took my place in this vehicle, at four in the 
morning, after having stumbled over more than 
one person lying asleep on the pavement, in 
groping my way through the streets from my 
lodgings to the waggon office. 

It is a striking commentary upon the back- 
ward state of Spain, and the general want of 
enterprise that distinguishes both the govern- 
ment and the people, that there should be no 
road from the capital, to the largest city lying 
within a hundred miles of it — the ancient 
metropolis of Spain; and yet such is the fact: 
for although the conveyance I speak of makes 
its way from Madrid to Toledo, a distance of 
nearly sixty miles, in about fifteen hours, it 
travels over any thing but a road, with the 
exception of the first ten miles from Madrid : 
after this, there is sometimes a visible track, 
and sometimes none ; most commonly, we 
passed over wide sands ; at other times over 
ploughed fields, or meadows ; and it was not 
until we arrived within half a league of Toledo, 
that we again found a road. 

SPAIN IN 18;J0. 3G7 

The country between Madrid and Toledo, 
1 need scarcely say, is ill peopled and ill cul- 
tivated ; for it is all a part of the same arid 
plain that stretches on every side around the 
capital ; and which is bounded on this side, 
by the Tagus. The whole of the way to 
Toledo, I passed through only four incon- 
siderable villages ; and saw two others at a 
distance. A great part of the land is uncul- 
tivated, covered with furze and aromatic 
plants; but here and there some corn land is 
to be seen, and I noticed one or two ploughs 
in the fields ; these were worked by two 
mules and one man, and seemed only to 
scratch the soil. The great curse of every 
part of Castile, is want of water ; in this 
journey of sixty miles, I passed only two in- 
significant brooks, — so very insignificant, that 
a child might have dammed up either of them 
in a few minutes with stones and sand : in 
fact, from the Douro to the Tagus, there is 
not a stream ancle deep, unless when swoln 
by sudden floods. 

I w^as much amused in this journey, by the 
manner of driving our diligence. We had 
seven excellent mules, which carried us the 

368 SPAIN IN 1830. 

whole way; and these were managed in the 
true Spanish mode, which does not admit of 
postilions. Two men sit in front ; one always 
keeps his place, holding the reins, and guiding 
the two nearest mules ; the other leaps from 
his seat every few minutes, runs alongside the 
mules, applies two or three lashes to each, 
gets them into a gallop, and as they pass by, 
he lays hold of the tail of the hindermost 
mule, and whisks into his place, where he 
remains until the laziness of the mules, or a 
piece of level ground, again calls him into 
activity. The sagacity of the mules struck 
me as most extraordinary ; after being put 
into a gallop, the three front mules were left 
entirely to themselves ; and yet they unerr- 
ingly discovered the best track; avoided the 
greatest inequalities ; and made their turnings 
with the utmost precision. 

We stopped some time before mid-day at a 
venta, to refresh the mules, the muleteers, and 
the travellers ; who, besides myself, consisted 
of three priests and one woman, the wife of a 
tradesman in Toledo. This was one of those 
ventas of which I had often heard, but had 
not yet seen— where, in reply to the question, 

SPAIN IN 1830. 369 

'' what have you got to eat ?" you are answer- 
ed, ''whatever you have brought with you." 
For my part, I had brought nothing ; but the 
clerigos had provided well against the assaults 
of the flesh ; and a cold stew of various fowls 
and bacon being produced by them, and 
heated by the mistress of the venta, we made 
a hearty and comfortable dinner ; and then 
continued our journey. 

Toledo is seen about a league before reach- 
ing it; and, with the exception of Granada, 
its situation is the most striking of any city 
in Spain. Its fine irregular line of buildings 
cover the summit and the upper part of a hill 
of considerable elevation ; behind which, the 
dark romantic range of the Toledo mountains 
forms a majestic back-ground. Even at this 
distance, Toledo is evidently no city of yester- 
day ; for besides the innumerable towers of its 
convents, churches, and stupendous cathedral 
— the metropolitan of Spain — the outline is 
broken by other buildings of a more grotesque, 
or more massive form ; while here and there, 
the still greater irregularity of the outline 
points to ages too remote, to have left to 

VOL. I. 2 b 

370 SPAIN IN 1830. 

modern times any other legacy than their 
ruins. Toledo was still illuminated by the 
setting sun when I caught the first view of it ; 
but before arriving under its walls, all was 
dusky, excepting the summits of the moun- 
tains behind ; these still wore the purple 
light of evening ; and the meanderings of the 
Tagus, flowing westward, were also visible 
beneath those bright orange tints that are 
peculiar to Spanish skies. 

I had no sooner secured a bed in the posada, 
than I went to deliver my letters ; these were, 
one to a gentleman, an employee, holding a 
situation in the finance ; the other to a pre- 
bendary, librarian of the cathedral. I was 
received with the greatest civility by both ; 
and after taking chocolate with the former, I 
accompanied him to the castle, to be present 
at what was considered quite an event in 
Toledo : this chanced to be the king's birth- 
day ; and in honour of it, the band of royalist 
volunteers paraded the principal streets by 
torch light ; and so monotonous a thing is life 
in Toledo, that this occurrence produced quite 
a sensation. It was scarcely possible to force 
one's way through the narrow streets, which 

SPAIN IN 1830. 371 

were filled with a dense mass of people, almost 
entirely men ; for the ancient Spanish customs 
still attach to Toledo too much, to sanction 
there the liberty which foreign usage has con- 
ferred upon the women in most of the other 
Spanish towns. 

I must not omit a trifling fact, that throws 
some light upon the state of feeling in Tole- 
do. I had purchased a grey hat in Paris, and 
had worn it constantly in Spain ; and although 
I had heard in Madrid that the wearers of 
white hats were looked upon with suspicion, 
I had never suffered any interruption or insult 
in consequence, excepting now and then a 
scrutinizing look from some royalist volunteer 
or police agent. But the gentleman to whom 
I was recommended in Toledo, would not per- 
mit me to go into the street in a grey hat ; he 
said he could not answer for my safety ; and 
while I remained in Toledo, he was so kind as 
to equip me with a small round, high-crowned 
hat, almost the only kind worn by its inha- 

The same evening that I arrived in Toledo, 
I was presented at a tertulia, which is the sole 
2 B 2 

372 SPAIN IN 1830. 

recreation of the inhabitants ; for there is no 
public diversion of any kind : formerly there 
was a theatre; but the canon, who was then at 
the head of the university, obtained a royal 
order to suppress it, and it has remained 
closed ever since. Bull-fights even are for- 
bidden in this priest-ridden city ; so that 
unless processions of Saints and Virgins are 
to be considered an amusement, the inhabit- 
ants have positively no resource but in the 
tertulia. Nowhere are Spanish customs seen 
more pure than in Toledo ; and nowhere is 
the monotony of the tertulia more striking. 
The party assembled about nine, — there were 
fifteen persons present, about one half of them 
ladies. The sole amusement was talking, and 
some of the party playing basto for a very low 
stake ; and after a glass of agua fresca, the 
party separated about eleven. In Toledo a 
certain circle agrees to form a tertulia : one 
house is selected, where it is to be held, — the 
most central, perhaps, or the most conve- 
nient; and the same individuals assemble at 
the same house, and at the same hour, every 
day throughout the year! This is Toledo 

SPAIN IN 1830. 373 

The morning after my arrival in Toledo, I 
rose early, anxious to see this ancient and 
truly Spanish city ; and crossing the Plaza 
Real, which, at the early hour of six, resounded 
with the ringing of the blacksmith's hammers, 
whose shops half monopolise the square, I 
followed the widest street that presented it- 
self; and after a steep descent, I found myself 
at the eastern extremity of the town, and on 
the bridge over the Tagus. It is impossible 
to walk a step in Toledo, or to turn the eye in 
any direction, without perceiving the remains 
of former grandeur, and the proofs of present 
decay : ruins are every where seen, —some, 
the vestiges of empires past away, and whose 
remains are crumbling into nothingness, — the 
empires of Carthage and of Rome : other ves- 
tiges,— those of an empire equally fallen, but 
more visible, in the greater perfection of its 
monuments, — the Empire of the Moors : and 
still another class of ruins, — those more recent 
emblems that record the decay of the Spanish 
monarchy through the lapse of a hundred and 
fifty years. Past magnificence and present 
poverty are every where written in a hundred 
forms, and in legible characters. But all this, 

374 SPAIN IN 1830. 

although offering to the reflecting mind an 
impressive example of the '* sic transit gloria 
mundi," gives to Toledo much of its peculiar 
interest in the eye of a stranger ; and adds to 
the picturesque and striking character of the 
views presented from every quarter. Few of 
these are finer than the view of this remark- 
able city and its environs, from the bridge 
over the Tagus, where my morning walk con- 
ducted me. 

The Alcazar, that immense pile, once the 
residence of Moors, and subsequently of the 
kings of Spain, forms one corner of the city. 
The irregular and picturesque line of buildings, 
at least one half of them convents, each with 
its tower, and terrace, and hanging garden, 
stretches along the summit of the hill, towards 
the West ; while strewing the sides of the 
steep acclivity, and mingled with the convent 
gardens, are seen the remains of the Roman 
walls that once entirely inclosed the city, 
and that even yet, are in many places nearly 
perfect. Withdrawing the eye from Toledo, 
and looking across the bridge, an elevated 
rocky mount presents itself, crowned with the 
ruins of a Moorish castle ; and leaning on the 

SPAIN IN i«;5o. 375 

parapet, and looking towards the South, the 
river is seen far below, flowing in a deep rocky- 
channel, one of its banks being the hill upon 
which the city stands, — and the other, the 
North front of the Toledo mountains. The 
peculiar situation of Toledo is best understood 
from this point. The river Tagus, coming 
from the westward, flows directly towards the 
north-east corner of the city ; and in place of 
continuing to flow in the same direction — by 
which it would leave the city and its hill upon 
the left, — it makes a sudden turn, sv/eeps 
behind the city and its hill, and in front of the 
Toledo mountains, — and after describing three 
parts of a circle, it re-appears at the opposite 
corner, and continues its course towards the 
west. The course of the Tagus is singular ; 
the Sierra de Albarracin, where it rises, is 
no more than eighty miles from the Mediter- 
ranean, in a straight line across Valencia ; but 
the Tagus, taking an opposite direction, runs 
a course of nearly six hundred miles to the 
Atlantic, — traversing the interiorof Spain, pass- 
ing into Portugal, and forming the glory and 
the riches of its capital. It would be no diffi- 
cult matter, to render the Tagus navigable 

376 SPAIN IN 1830. 

from Toledo to the sea, a distance of between 
four and five hundred miles ; the passage was 
attempted in the winter of 1829, by a boat 
from Toledo, and succeeded, the boat having 
arrived safely at Lisbon ; but this could not 
have been done at any other season ; because 
in dry weather, the water is in many places 
almost wholly diverted from its natural chan- 
nel, for the use of the mills that have been 
erected upon its banks. 

I endeavoured to find my way from the 
bridge to the posada by a different road, — but 
this was an attempt of some difficulty. I 
believe there is no town in Europe in which it 
is so difficult to find ones way, as in Toledo : 
the streets are innumerable ; few of them are 
more than three yards wide; they are steep, 
tortuous and short, constantly branching off 
at acute angles, so that all idea of direction 
is soon lost; and there are no open spaces from 
which some prominent object may be taken 
as a guide. A gentleman who had resided 
fourteen years in Toledo, told me that he was 
not acquainted with half of the streets ; and 
that it was no unusual occurrence to lose him- 
self, in endeavouring to find near cuts from one 

SPAIN IN 1830. 377 

place to another. Although I arrived at the 
posada two hours later than I expected, I had 
nothing to regret in the delay ; my mistakes 
having carried me through parts of the town 
which I might not otherwise have had an op- 
portunity of seeing. 

Walking through Toledo, there is a subject 
of more melancholy reflection than that which 
arises from the vestiges of former greatness; 
I mean, the abundant proofs of bigotry and 
ignorance that are gathered at every step. 
There is no city of Spain so entirely given up 
to the domination of the priests and friars, as 
Toledo; because there is no other city in which 
these form so large a portion of the population, 
or where the riches of the religious bodies are 
so preponderating. Toledo, it is believed, once 
contained 200,000 inhabitants ; forty or fifty 
years ago, it contained, according to tiie 
writers of those days, about 30,000 ; at this 
day, its inhabitants do not exceed IG or 17,000; 
but throughout this progressive decay, the con- 
vents and churches, the priests and friars, 
have continued undiminished : the cathedral 
is still served by its forty canons, and fifty 
prebendaries, and fifty chaplains ; the thirty- 

378 SPAIN IN 1830. 

eight parish churches and chapels, have still 
their curates, and their assistants, and their 
many dependents ; and the thirty-six convents 
and monasteries, have yet their compliment of 
friars and nuns. The revenues, indeed, of all 
these religious bodies, have suffered some di- 
minution during the last fifty years ; but this 
diminution has been nothing in comparison 
with the decrease in the resources of all the 
other classes of inhabitants. The revenues of 
the archbishop amounted fifty years ago, to 
seven millions of reals, (70,000/. sterling); at 
present they do not exceed four millions of 
reals, (40,000/. sterling) : the incomes of the 
canons amounted, at the former period, to at 
least eighty thousand reals (or 800/. sterling) ; 
now, they scarcely reach one half of this sum : 
all these diminutions are the result of the fall 
in the price of corn, in which their revenues 
are computed. But the incomes of the curates 
of the parishes are still more reduced, many of 
the parishes having entirely fallen into decay : 
there are some, in which there are not now 
twenty inhabited houses ; so that the curates 
of these, are in a state of absolute destitution. 
The revenues of the convents have of course 

SPAIN IN 1830. 379 

suffered a diminution proportionate to that 
which has affected the church. But notwith- 
standing this decrease in the revenues of the 
religious bodies, these are still sufficiently 
great, to create an overwhelming interest in a 
city whose inhabitants scarcely quadruple the 
number of those who live by these revenues. 
In fact the whole city, with the exception of 
the government employees, lives by these re- 
venues. Many are directly benefited by their 
collection, their management, and by the hus- 
bandry of the land that produces them ; while 
their disbursement must necessarily benefit 
every class of men who administer either to 
the necessities, or the luxuries of life. But 
besides the effect which self-interest has in 
supporting the influence of priestcraft in To- 
ledo, other reasons may be assigned for its 

The geographical position of Toledo is highly 
favourable to the success of this jugglery ; 
for, with sufficient resources in the territory 
that lies along the Tagus, and with no passable 
road or navigation of any kind to other towns, 
the inhabitants have scarcely any intercourse 
with strangers, — none whatever with foreigners. 

380 SPAIN IN 1830. 

The immense number of priests and friars, 
also, who may all be considered spies upon 
the lives of the inhabitants ; and the great and 
secret influence of the archbishop, cannot fail 
to act as obstacles to the progress of infor- 
mation, both by reading and conversation : 
and, indeed, there is in Toledo a species of 
religious espionnage, which is, in fact, a rem- 
nant of the Inquisition : certain friars call 
every Monday morning, at every house, to 
receive the certificates of confession which 
have been given to the inmates, if they have 
confessed the day before. And I must not 
omit to mention, as another cause of the pre- 
ponderance of priestly influence in Toledo, 
the greater correctness exhibited in the lives 
of the religious orders in this city, than in the 
other cities of Spain ; and the larger alms 
given by the convents. With the exception 
of some whispers respecting the canons and 
prebendaries, who were said to be remarkable 
for the number of infant nephews, nieces, and 
cousins, whom they had humanely taken 
under their fatherly protection, I heard not 
one insinuation against any other of the reli- 
gious orders. 

SPAIN IN 1830. 381 

The great respect, or rather veneration, in 
which the religious bodies, — especially the 
friars, — are held in Toledo, as well as many- 
other proofs of the bigotry of the inhabitants, 
are every where visible. A Franciscan friar, 
or any monk belonging to one of the poor and 
self-denying orders, receives some obeisance 
from every one, as he passes along the street ; 
even the portly canon or prebendary, who 
bears about with him the evidences of self- 
indulgence in place of self-denial, receives 
some token of respect : every shop is provided 
with a saint in a niche, to bless its gains ; and 
upon every second or third door, a paper is 
seen with these words printed upon it, — 
Maria Santa Purissima, sin Pecado concebida. 
In the respect too which is paid by the inhabit- 
ants to religious processions, abundant proof 
is afforded of the superstition that still clings 
to the people of Toledo. I happened to be in 
the neighbourhood of the Carmelite convent 
when the procession of St. Theresa issued 
from it. This is the patron saint of the con- 
vent, and her image was carried through the 
streets, followed by a multitude of friars : it 
is considered a mark of devotion, to carry a 


SPAIN IN 1830. 

lighted candle upon such occasions ; and 1 
noticed many persons bearing candles, who, 
by their dress and general appearance, must 
have belonged to the middle classes. In the 
open court in front of the convent, there were 
not less than 2,000 persons collected ; and 
when the image was carried past, I did not 
see a single individual in any other position 
than upon his knees. 

Another time, walking in the neighbourhood 
of the city, on the road, or rather track, 
across the mountains, I observed two uni- 
versity students, seventeen or eighteen years 
of age, busily employed in collecting stones, 
and laying them upon a cross erected by the 
wayside in commemoration of a murder, — and 
with each stone muttering a prayer. I did 
not, at that time, understand the meaning of 
this strange occupation ; but I afterwards 
learned, that in virtue of some ancient papal 
authority, a certain indulgence is granted for 
every stone laid on the cross of a murdered 
man, if accompanied by a prayer. 

The general aspect of the population of 
Toledo is intensely Spanish ; there is no ad- 
mixture of foreign, or even of modern innova- 

SPAIN IN 18.30. 383 

tion, to be seen. Men of all ranks wear the 
cloak ; and the small round, high-crowned, 
Spanish hat, is worn not only by the pea- 
santry, but almost universally, by persons of 
all classes. Among the women, no colours 
are to be seen ; black is the universal dress ; 
and scarcely any one enters a church unveiled. 
Largely as the friars enter into the street 
population of Madrid, they enter far more 
largely into that of Toledo. In Madrid they 
are spread over a greater surface. In Toledo, 
the only lounge is the Plaza Real ; and there, 
at certain hours, particularly about two 
o'clock, it seems almost like a convent hall of 
recreation, and a sacristy of a cathedral united ; 
for canons, and prebendaries, and curates, and 
twenty different orders of friars, are seen 
standing in groups, strolling under the piazzas, 
or seated upon benches, refreshing themselves 
with melons or grapes. There cannot be a 
more perfect realization of the conception of 
*' fat, contented ignorance," than the Plaza 
Real of Toledo presents every day after din- 
ner. Not many poor are to be seen among 
the population of Toledo ; it has now dwindled 
down to that point, at which the wants of the 

384 SPAIN IN 1830. 

church, the university, and the convents, can 
sustain it : beyond this number there are few ; 
and those few are supported by church and 
convent alms : the only beggars I saw, were 
three or four women, who sat at the gate of 
the cathedral. 

I was not long in Toledo before visiting its 
cathedral, which has no rival but the cathedral 
of Seville, in its claims to be the greatest and 
the most magnificent of Gothic temples. All 
the cathedrals I had ever before seen, shrunk 
into insignificance when I entered the cathe- 
dral of Toledo. The following are the dimen- 
sions of this majestic pile. The interior of the 
church is four hundred and eight feet long, 
and two hundred and six feet wide ; and the 
height of the aisles is one hundred and sixty 
feet. The columns that run along the aisles 
are forty-five feet round : there are sixty- 
eight painted windows; and surrounding the 
choir, and the Altar Major, there are one 
hundred and fifty-six marble and porphyry 
pillars. I was not able to see the Precioci- 
dades the first day I went to the cathedral : 
to be so specially favoured, a separate order 
was required ; and I returned accordingly the 

SPAIN IN 1830. 385 

following morning by appointment. I do not 
mean to enumerate the different articles that 
compose the riches of the cathedral of Toledo 
— the richest in the world — but I shall men- 
tion a very few of the most remarkable. I saw 
the Virgin's mantle, — one mass of precious 
stones, especially pearls, of which there must 
have been thousands, if not millions : I saw 
many images of pure gold, studded with pre- 
cious stones : I saw the Virgin's crown, also 
of pure gold, but entirely covered with the 
largest and most brilliant jewels, — sapphires, 
emeralds, rubies, and diamonds; and sur- 
mounted by an emerald of most extraordinary 
size and beauty ; the image which upon high 
days is arrayed in all this finery, is of silver. 
There is another room, called the custodla, in 
which I saw innumerable urns of pure gold, 
most of them studded with precious stones ; 
and which contain relics ; these I did not ask 
to see, but I was informed that there are few 
saints in the calendar, of whom this the relicary 
of Toledo does not contain something. The 
value of the gold and silver might be easily 
ascertained; but the value of jewels is more 
VOL. 1. 2 c 

386 SPAIN IN 1830. 

capricious : I was told, however, that every 
article is inventoried and valued, in a book 
kept for that purpose; and although my in- 
formant did not state to me the precise amount 
noted in the book, he said it exceeded forty 
millions of ducats (10,000,000/. sterling) : 
whether the value of the relics be included 
in this estimate, I cannot tell. This is a 
melancholy waste of property ; and when, in 
connexion with this, we view the deplorable 
condition of Spain, we naturally inquire whe- 
ther the judicious employment of this wealth 
could materially better that condition. Un- 
doubtedly it might accomplish much ; and 
had the whole inert wealth of Spain been 
directed a hundred years ago into useful chan- 
nels, Spain would at this day have been a 
more enlightened and a more flourishing coun- 
try ; but Spain could never have been made 
one continued garden, as some writers have 
supposed ; because the wealth of the world 
could never charge Castilian skies with rain- 
clouds ; force springs to bubble from sandy 
deserts ; or clothe with soil, the rocky Sierras 
that half cover the Peninsula. 

The wealth of the cathedral of Toledo had 

SPAIN IN 1830. 387 

a narrow escape from the rapacity of the 
French : upon their approach, the archbishop 
— not the present, but the last archbishop — 
carried away the whole of the portable articles 
to Cadiz, and thus saved them : the heavier 
articles remained in their places; and the 
French when they took possession of Toledo, 
asked one fourth part of their value ; but a 
much less sum was offered, and accepted, 
viz. 90 arrobas, or 2250 lbs. of silver — a mere 
trifle, scarcely equalling the value of one of 
the precious stones. 

But the preciocidades, and marbles, and 
porphyries, and paintings, are not, in my 
eyes, the most interesting features of the ca- 
thedral of Toledo: its immensity, its grandeur, 
are its glories. The lofty and majestic aisles 
— the massive and far-stretching columns of a 
temple like this, seem almost to shadow forth 
the imperishable nature of the religion whose 
sanctuary they adorn and uphold. The longer 
we contemplate the vastness and majesty 
around, the mind is more and more filled with 
awe, and lifted from the insignificance of life 
to a sense of the greatness and solemn gran- 
2c 2 

388 SPAIN IN 1830. 

deur of eternity ; we are filled with enthusiasm 
and admiration, — enthusiasm the more lofty, 
because it is mingled with religion ; and 
admiration the more profound, since it is 
mixed with astonishment, that so frail a crea- 
ture as man should be able to perpetuate his 
memory for ever. While I remained in To- 
ledo, I spent a part of every day in the cathe- 
dral ; and every evening, about sunset, I 
strolled through the aisles. These visits will 
not soon be forgotten, for it is but rarely that 
life gathers such subjects of remembrance. 
The last evening I remained in Toledo, I 
walked into the cathedral sometime after sun- 
set, — it was the latest visit I had made to it : 
the interior was all wrapped in deep dusk ; — 
the lofty aisles stretched darkly beyond, only 
shewn by a solitary lamp burning before the 
shrine of some inferior saint, — its ineffectual 
light dimly falling athwart the gloom ; the 
painted windows had ceased to throw their 
gorgeous hues within, — but a speckled and 
faintly-coloured gleam fell upon the upper part 
of the columns. Two candles burnt before the 
Altar Major ; and in the distance, at the far- 
thest extremity of the church, a bright red 

SPAIN IN 1830. 389 

blaze flashed across the aisle, and between the 
massive pillars, — throwing their broad shadows 
across the marble-chequered floor of the 
church : this was the chapel of the miraculous 
image, lighted up with an infinity of tapers, — 
and the only sound to be heard, save my own 
footstep, was the distant hum of prayer from 
the many devotees prostrated before her shrine. 
Here and there, as I walked through the 
aisles, I saw a solitary kneeler at the altar of a 
favourite saint ; and at some of the remotest 
and obscurest spots, a cloaked caballero was 
waiting for good or for evil. 

I dedicated my second morning in Toledo 
to the Alcazar, one of the most striking objects 
in the city, from almost M'hatever quarter it is 
viewed. This massive fabric was once the re- 
sidence of the Moorish kings, and more lately 
of the Castilian sovereigns. It was in the 
reign of Charles V. that the present south and 
north fronts were erected, the former by Her- 
rera. The whole building is now^ in a state of 
decay, — these magnificent fronts arc falling 
into ruin; and the inside of the edifice is no 
longer habitable ; one wing only, which is 
still entire, is used as a prison. When Toledo 

390 SPAIN IN 1830. 

ceased to be the metropolis of Spain, the Al- 
cazar was converted into a workhouse, and 
more lately it was employed as a silk manu- 
factory. The archbishop undertook the estab- 
lishment of this from humane motives, but 
the undertaking proved a failure ; and it is 
probable that the Alcazar will now be de- 
livered over to the hand of time. 

Among other parts of the Alcazar, I visited 
the vaults, which are of immense extent, and 
open to the public, but are put to no use what- 
ever : in one of the vaults, a party of gipsies 
had made their quarters ; they had lighted a 
large fire, around which some lay sleeping; 
and one woman was employed in cooking. 
The grotesque and ragged figures of the gip- 
sies, and the high vault illuminated by the red 
flare, reminded me of the strong lights, and 
picturesque groups of the Spanish painters. 

Standing in front of the Alcazar, with the 
terrace which overlooks the city and the sur- 
rounding country — with ruins of Roman walls, 
and Moorish castles at my feet — and with the 
palace of three races of kings behind ; it was 
impossible to avoid a retrospect of the past 
history of this remarkable city. More than 

SPAIN IN 1830. 391 

two centuries before the birth of Christ, Toledo 
was added by Hannibal to the empire of the 
Carthagenians ; and after being subsequently 
a part of the Roman empire, it was wrested 
from the dominion of Rome, by Eurico, king 
of the Goths, in the year 467. It continued 
subject to the Gothic line nearly two hundred 
and fifty years ; when the Moors, after having 
subdued the greater part of Spain, and reduced 
most of the principal cities, invested Toledo, 
and captured it in 714. In the year 1085, 
after Toledo had remained under the sove- 
reignty of the Moors between three and four 
hundred years, Alonzo VI., and Rodrigo Diaz 
— the Cid, expelled the Moors from its walls; 
and from that period, until the expulsion of 
the Moors from Spain, Toledo was alternately 
a stronghold of the Castilians, and of the 
Moors. And, even after the settlement of 
Spain, it became the head of an insurrection, 
which convulsed Castile during twenty-two 
years; whose object was, to restrict the privi- 
leges of the nobles, and, in fact, to re-model 
in many respects the constitution of Castile: 
but, in the year 1522, Toledo submitted to the 
crown ; and since that period, its history has 

392 SPAIN IN 1830. 

been only remarkable as recording in succes- 
sive steps of decay, the gradual decline of the 
Spanish monarchy. 

But, although Toledo is chiefly interesting, 
for its monuments of past glory and prosperity, 
it is not without some excellent and flourish- 
ing institutions even at this day. All of this 
kind that Toledo possesses, is the work of the 
late Archbishop Lorenzana, a man of very 
opposite character from the prelate who, at 
present wields the sceptre of the church. 
Lorenzana was an able man, and an excellent 
ecclesiastic ; and gave practical evidence of 
his goodness in the many excellent institutions 
which he founded. Among these, I was par- 
ticularly pleased with the lunatic asylum, — a 
noble edifice, and perfect in all its arrange- 
ments. The spectacles revealed in a mad- 
house, are never agreeable ; but they are 
sometimes interesting, and here, there were 
several of this character. 1 was conducted to 
the cell of one person, whose insanity arose 
from erroneous views of religion. The walls 
were entirely covered with drawings in chalk, 
executed with great spirit, and representing 
funerals, tombs, death heads, devils, religious 

SPAIN IN 1830. 393 

processions, priests, and ceremonies. Another, 
certainly a most interesting object, I saw in 
the large hall, where the inoffensive maniacs 
are permitted to be at large ; this was a 
middle-aged woman, seated upon the ledge of 
the window, her eyes intently fixed upon the 
sky ; she was a native of a village on the coast 
of Murcia, which had been destroyed by the 
earthquake the autumn before : she had been 
at a neighbouring hamlet selling dates ; and 
on her return to her village, she had seen her 
home, and with it, her children, swallowed 
up : she had never spoken from that hour, and 
all day long she sat on the window ledge of 
this hall gazing upon the sky ; and every day 
the strength of two persons was required to 
take her from the window to dinner. I shall 
only mention one other individual, whose case 
is interesting, as throwing light upon Spanish 
morals and justice. This was also a woman, 
but in her perfect senses ; she had lived with 
her aunt, who was housekeeper to a canon in 
Toledo; and the canon had seduced her. 
Instigated by revenge, or hatred, she after- 
wards cut his throat during the night ; and 
the public authorities, unwilling to expose 

394 SPAIN IN 1830. 

the affair, by bringing her to trial, ascribed 
the act to a fit of madness, and sent her to 
the asylum. 

The handsome edifice now occupied by the 
university, is another act of Lorenzana. The 
University of Toledo dates its origin from the 
time of the Moors ; and was revived after their 
expulsion, in the year 1529. At present, it 
is chiefly celebrated as a law university ; the 
number of students on its books, at the time 
I visited Toledo, was rather more than seven 
hundred ; and I was informed that nine-tenths 
of these were law students, and that, of the 
remaining tenth, only eight were students of 
the theological classes. When speaking of 
the education of members of the liberal pro- 
fessions, I detailed the course of study re- 
quired of the law student in this university. 

Lorenzana also established a college for 
girls, chiefly the children of officers and em- 
ployees ; here they are well educated in every 
useful and ornamental branch of education — 
and here they may remain all their lives, at 
the charge of government, if they neither 
marry, nor choose to go into a convent. By 
a fundamental rule laid down by the founder, 

SPAIN IN 1830. 395 

a small dowry is given to every one who mar- 
ries, but nothing is given to carry into a con- 
vent. Formerly, there used to be tertulias 
here every evening, at which the students of 
the university were welcome visitors ; but the 
entree of the colegio is now forbidden to all 
students, even to those who reside in Toledo 
with their families. When I visited this in- 
stitution, there were twenty-seven young 
ladies: ten had been married the year before; 
and 1 understand, very few disappoint the in- 
tentions of the founder by going into con- 

From all antiquity the Spaniards have been 
celebrated for the manufacture of steel arms ; 
and a *' Toledo blade" long has been, and still 
is, an expression implying excellence. The 
celebrated sword manufactory, to which I 
walked one afternoon, lies about three quarters 
of a league from the city, close to the river, 
which is required for working the machinery. 
It is a building of extraordinary extent, com- 
prising within it not only the forges, work- 
shops, and depositories of arms ; but also 
accommodations of every kind for those em- 
ployed in the manufactory, who, in former 

396 SPAIN IN 1830. 

times, were extremely numerous. I visited 
every part of the establishment, and saw the 
progress of the manufactory throughout all its 
stages. The flexibility and excellent temper of 
the blades are surprising ; there are two trials 
which each blade must undergo before it be 
pronounced sound, — the trial of flexibility, 
and the trial of temper. In the former it is 
thrust against a plate on the wall, and bent 
into an arc, at least three parts of a circle. In 
the second, it is struck edgeways upon a 
leaden table, with the whole force which can 
be given by a powerful man, holding it with 
both hands. The blades are polished upon a 
wheel of walnut wood ; and when finished, are 
certainly beautiful specimens of the art. 

The manufactory once employed many hun- 
dred hands ; but it has long been on the de- 
cline ; and at present, only fifty workmen are 
required ; these finish about eight thousand 
swords in the year. They work by piece, 
and make about one hundred reals per week 
(20-y.), and some of the most industrious work- 
men, twenty-four reals more. Before the 
separation of the colonies, twenty-five more 
workmen were employed. They generally 


SPAIN IN 1830. 397 

keep a stock three years in advance ; but 
owing to the recent and unexpected equip- 
ment of two regiments of guards, the number 
of swords when I walked through the maga- 
zine, was only twenty thousand. 

Returning to the city from the manufactory, 
I visited the Franciscan convent; once an 
immense pile, but now partly in ruins, — the 
effect of war. It is still however a fine 
building, and of great extent ; and the alms 
of the devout have been so liberally bestowed, 
that I found them busily employed in raising 
a new and magnificent edifice upon the ruins 
of that which had been destroyed. Finding 
the gate of the convent open, I walked in, and 
ascending a stair, reached the dormitory of 
the monks without any one questioning me. 
The Franciscans do not earn their reputation 
for self-denying sanctity, without working for 
it. Judging by the cells which I saw in this 
convent, I may say, that if their comforts by 
day, are no greater than those provided for 
night, their lives are truly lives of penance 
and mortification. Near to the Franciscan 
convent are the remains of a Roman amphi- 
theatre ; but even these remains are fast dis- 

398 SPAIN IN 1830. 

I had spent five days in Toledo greatly to 
my satisfaction. From both of the gentlemen 
to whom I had carried introductions, I re- 
ceived constant civilities : with the one, 
I drank chocolate every evening, and found 
in his son an admirable cicerone, — in himself, 
an intelligent companion, — and in his wife 
and daughter, obliging and delightful triflers. 
From the other (the prebendary), I received 
the unusual compliment of being invited to 
dinner, — a dinner, as Dr. Johnson would have 
said, such as was fit to invite a man to eat. 
The chief dish was a roasted ham, which I had 
never before seen, — but which I beg to recom- 
mend to the attention of all who are not above 
the enjoyment of dining well. This is not an 
unusual dish in Spain, when it is intended to 
treat a guest well. I had afterwards, at Va- 
lencia, the pleasure of having my recollection 
of the prebendary's dinner agreeably refreshed. 

I had now gratified my curiosity at Toledo, 
and proposed returning to Madrid by the same 
conveyance that had brought me ; but I found 
that it was all engaged by churchmen ; and 
that another extra conveyance was also engaged 
by them : a canon had died, and half the clergy 

SPAIN IN 1830. 399 

of Toledo were going to Madrid to sue for his 
place. I obtained a seat in a galera, in which 
there were five priests, and I was much 
amused with the freedom and good humour 
with which they spoke of their pretensions 
and hopes ; and upon this occasion, these 
were more than usually uncertain, because no 
one knew with whom the patronage lay. The 
appointment of canons to the cathedral of 
Toledo is shared between the king and the 
archbishop ; seven months in the year belong 
to the king, and five to the archbishop. This 
was the first canon who had died during the 
seven months that belong to the king ; but the 
patronage of the last appointment, about two 
months before, which had belonged to the 
archbishop, had been ceded by him to the king 
for some particular reason, in the understand- 
ing however that the first vacancy, during 
the next seven months, should be filled up by 
the archbishop ; but the question was, whether 
his majesty would recollect his royal promise. 
For my part, I heartily wished he might ; for 
among the five candidates who were my com- 
panions, one only seemed to stand in need of 
a better served table than he was accustomed 

400 SPAIN IN 18:50. 

to, — and he, as the muleteer told me, was a 
distant relation of the archbishop ; but perhaps 
it was as likely that the archbishop might 
forget his relation, as that the king might 
forget his promise. 

Either our mules were less sagacious, or 
our drivers less expert than those entrusted 
with the care of the galera that had brought 
me to Toledo ; for, descending a steep sand- 
bank, about two leagues from the city, the 
conversation of the clerigos was suddenly and 
disagreeably interrupted by the vehicle being 
thrown over. The sand, however, was so 
deep that no one sustained any injury ; and 
after the little delay occasioned by putting the 
galera upright, the journey and the conversa- 
tion were resumed together, and we reached 
Madrid without any farther hindrance. 


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